By EDEN CROTHERS,
Ethan was awarded the Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award from the Macon County Community Foundation for 2020. They recognized his work with his foundation, The 217WBCLassic. The Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award recognizes service by an individual under age 40 who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy.
The 217WBCLassic tournament will be entering its sixth year next year. The last five years, the Parker family backyard has turned into a community extravaganza to host the 217 ALZ Wiffle Ball Classic to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease, a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away and die. The tournament also helps out other families in the community who are in need.
In July, the “Wall of Remembrance” was completed with people sharing their own memories of a loved one being affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Fifty-six teams played in this year’s tournament, which was limited to 50 people in the back yard, with masks and hand sanitizer provided to adhere to the protocols to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across Lost Bridge Road, the games were on a projector courtesy of a live stream that will still give authentic sounds of the game. It was a different look this year, but the message remained clear. This was about awareness, community and helping one another.
This tournament has grown from an eight-team idea that was spearheaded by Parker when he was 12 years old to a 56-team festival with more than 50 sponsors.
Ethan’s family, friends, and community are all extremely proud of him for his accomplishments.