On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Wyatt Strong Foundation will play a charity softball game to honor first responders and benefit Somers Point Firefighters.

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Just a few weeks ago, the Wyatt Strong Foundation was brought to my attention by John Barbieri, a former Somers Point police officer, and I'm so glad he reached out.

The foundation is in memory of Wyatt Hopkins, who tragically passed away at just four years old.

In recent years, Wyatt's family has channeled their grief through supporting the community through Christmastime toy drives, No Shave November, and charity softball games.

On Saturday, September 11th, the Wyatt Strong Foundation will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation and the lives lost on that fateful day during a charity softball game at Fehrle Field. The game will feature wooden bats, slow pitches, and food and drinks.

courtesy Desiree Hopkins
courtesy Desiree Hopkins

As you can see, little Wyatt Hopkins was a lover of firetrucks. And, in his memory, proceeds from the game will go to support firefighters in Somers Point.

courtesy Desiree Hopkins
courtesy Desiree Hopkins

Who: Wyatt Strong Foundation

What: 2nd Annual Charity Softball Game

When: 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 11, 2021

Where: Fehrle Field, 599 First Street Somers Point (directly across the street from the Veteran's memorial, where an annual 9/11 remembrance takes place). ** Smoke-free/alcohol-free field.

Spectators are invited to come out and cheer on the volunteer players and make charitable donations.

And soon the Wyatt Strong Foundation will begin gearing up for the Christmas season, collecting new, unwrapped toys to benefit local families in need, kids at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and even St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

courtesy Desiree Hopkins
courtesy Desiree Hopkins

I recently spoke with Wyatt's mom, Desiree Hopkins about the Wyatt Strong Foundation's charitable endeavors, and she told me this:

'We like to start our toy drive on Wyatt’s birthday November 8th, as a way to celebrate his life. As we start receiving gifts on his special day, it puts a smile on our faces, and comfort in our hearts, knowing these gifts will be going to a Children’s Hospital, families in need in Somers Point, as well as CASA which serves foster programs in all of Atlantic and Cape May county. All while remembering a beautiful little soul with a heart of gold. Wyatt was that person who would have done anything for anyone. He was an old soul filled with so much love for people. The best thing as bereaved parents we can do, is continue to keep his memory alive and spread the love he had in his heart.'
If you'd like to contribute, visit the non-profit OldSoulWyatt.org. In the future, we will post a list of toy donation drop-off locations. In the meantime, we invite you to visit the Wyatt Strong Foundation on Facebook.

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