Fraternity holds tournament to benefit family - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fraternity holds tournament to benefit family

February 23, 2007

Valdosta - Meet Jori Hall. She's a 15-year-old freshman at Lowndes County High School who loves softball.

But she's never been able to play the sport, because she was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome as a baby.  "It's a failure of the left side of the heart," said Zach Dykes, family friend and member of Delta Chi Fraternity.

"She had her first open heart surgery at three and a half weeks," says Jori's mother Sharon Dunlap.

Since then she's had to commute from Valdosta to Jacksonville to check in with doctors every few months.

Between medical bills and gas bills, the trips are not cheap.  "You have deductibles and co-insurances and things that aren't paid and of course, the trips down there. So there are a lot of expenses," Dunlap says.

But her family still finds time to give to the community.

As a way to give back, the Delta Chi Fraternity from Valdosta State University will be hosting a softball tournament in Jori's honor.  "We do it for a family in town, locally, every year. It's always a charity event and donations always go to the family," Dykes says.

47 Teams from all over Georgia and Florida are expected to participate in the tournament this weekend. The money raised will go to Jori and her family.  "We are hoping to raise close to six grand for this family," he adds.

They were overwhelmed when they heard the fraternity had chosen them for this year's tournament but are happy to have the help.  "Being on the receiving end of things is a wonderful thing, but it's just different."

The first pitch to begin this tournament will be thrown by Jori.

The tournament will be held this Saturday at Freedom Park in Valdosta.

The gates open at 8:00 AM.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=CharitySoftball

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