When Matthew Rolle told his friends he’d been diagnosed with stage four colon and liver cancer, he asked them not to do anything for him.
But the Mattituck resident’s friends disregarded his wish and are throwing a fundraiser in his honor anyway.
“Matt’s played in the [Greenport Softball] League for a long time, like 10 to 15 years,” tournament co-founder Warren Bondarchuk said. “He’s got a 1-year-old son. But he’s doing really well with treatment and it looks good.”
Mr. Bondarchuk said he and fellow league founders Craig Jobes and Greg Cocheo have been playing in a softball league with Mr. Rolle for years, and decided to create “Go to Bat for Matt,” a two-day softball tournament to be held Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3.
He said they modeled their event on other fundraising tournaments they’ve participated in over the years, especially one in Hampton Bays.
As of Friday afternoon, 12 teams had signed up for the tournament, which will also feature a DJ, chinese auction, games of cornhole, grilled food and more.
“It started off small and then it kind of exploded,” Mr. Bondarchuk said. “Its a co-ed softball tournament for fun and for everybody to get together to come down for Matt and show how much he means to everybody.”
A Home Run Derby will be held the day before, Friday, June 1, as a kickoff for the weekend event.
Some teams are still looking for players, so individuals can also sign up to join a team, Mr. Bondarchuk said.
People who aren’t necessarily athletically inclined but still want to participate can donate to the auction baskets, barbecue, or can contribute money.
Proceeds from the event will go to Mr. Rolle and his family. Initially, they were going to be split, with a portion going to the American Cancer Society, but Mr. Rolle instead plans to donate some of the money to other local residents and causes.
There is a $25 entry fee for the home run derby. Entry to the co-ed softball tournament costs $400 per team. Additionally, shirts made at East End Sporting Goods will be sold all weekend. The chinese auction drawing and a 50/50 raffle are scheduled for noon on June 3.
Anyone with questions about the weekend, which will take place at the Greenport Polo Grounds and the Greenport school baseball field, can call Mr. Bondarchuk at 631-796-6241, Mr. Jobes at 631-782-0122 or Mr. Cocheo at 631-578-2842.
Photo caption: Matthew Rolle pictured on the back right holding his son. (Warren Bondarchuk courtesy photo)