The Story of the Tailgaters
Our story began in the spring of 1993 when we participated in the inaugural season of the Ida Volunteer Fire Dept men's softball league. We were comprised mostly of family and friends. Most of us had never played in a softball league before...and it showed! We finished our 1st season with a perfect 0-16 record!
Once the games had ended, we could be found in the parking lot joined by our families for a big cookout. This happened every week after the games. We became famous for our cookouts and the large crowds that stayed and tailgated with us! It only made sense to change our name officially to the Tailgaters for the 1994 season.
In the fall of 1998, while enjoying another cookout after the game, we got talking about one of our players little niece Jamie Davis who was battling brain cancer. It seemed the family was having a hard time and they were talking about doing something to help them out. With the help of the entire team, our families, friends and local businesses we held a spring softball tournament to raise money for them. The tournament was more successful than we could have ever imagined. We had 36 teams participate and raised almost $10,000.00!
The money we helped raise went a long way to help the family but unfortunately 6 months after our tournament, Jamie loss her battle with cancer just a few days after her 3rd birthday. We didn't know it then, but that tournament was the beginning of THANKS, Inc. In the fall of 2000 we began the process of forming a nonprofit organization. After many meetings and lots of paperwork, we officially received our nonprofit status in December of 2000.
We officially retired as a team after the 2002 season. The majority of the team played from our beginning until the end. We were never known for our performance on the field, but always remembered for the tailgate parties after the game! It was a great experience that led us to this organization!