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CURE Childhood Cancer emerges as winner in rivalry contest
Coaches support playing annual softball game at Josh Reddick Stadium
South Effingham's Kastin Belogorska joined players on both teams by wearing a gold ribbon in her hair in support of CURE Childhood Cancer on Sept. 18. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
This is something we are going to do. It's too awesome for the community.
South Effingham coach Chuck Smith

SPRINGFIELD —  The biggest winner of the Sept. 18 softball game between South Effingham and Effingham County didn't have a spot on the scoreboard.

Ticket sales from the rivals' third meeting of the season resulted in a donation of more than $1,000 for CURE Childhood Canter. The contest at Josh Reddick Stadium, a new $1 million venue, was such a hit with players and fans that the coaches involved hope it becomes an annual event.

"This is something we are going to do," South Effingham coach Chuck Smith said following the Lady Mustangs' 10-5 victory in his first visit to the field. "This is too awesome for the community."

Smith and his Effingham County counterpart, coach Johnny Coleman, agreed that their players enjoyed being part of something special. All sported gold ribbons in their hair as a show of support for CURE Childhood Center.

The money raised for the organization was a primary reason to be excited.

"That's what it's about," Smith said.

Several students in Effingham County schools are battling cancer and Coleman expressed awe at their perseverance.

Even though Josh Reddick Stadium opened a few months ago, Coleman remains impressed by the contribution that made it possible. The field, complete with artificial turf and wheelchair-accessible dugouts, was funded largely by Houston Astros outfielder Josh Reddick, a major financial supporter of both schools. 

"It's a lot nicer than a lot if (NCAA Division I) college fields," Coleman said. "For these girls to be able to do that — they work so hard — it's good to have something pay off for them, the experience.

"We really appreciate Josh doing this for the community. It's very special."