MARION, AL. – The Marion Military Institute (Marion, AL) Corps of Cadets have a motto that they learn to embrace, "Truth, Honor, Service." The Lady Tigers softball team, led by Kristi Basso (head coach) and Raina Stiffler (assistant coach), have helped instill these ideals into their players – especially when it comes to the service component. Marion's softball team has taken on two community service projects this fall that will continue into the spring semester and beyond. "I think it's great that the teams here at MMI take on these projects and give back to the surrounding areas. Athletics are an integral part of the educational process here at MMI and helps us to reinforce the development of character, integrity and leadership skills. Being involved in these projects helps those student-athletes develop those life lessons that they can take with them when they leave here," states Director of Athletics Michelle Ivey.
MMI's softball team participates in Collegiate Craft Day once a month at the Children's Hospital of Alabama (Birmingham, AL). Children's Hospital is one of the best children's hospital programs in the nation and treats patients from all over the United States and several foreign countries. Marion's players spend time with the patients and their siblings, trying to keep their minds off the challenges they face on a daily basis. Freshman pitcher, Lauren Camacho, had this to say about her experience at Children's, "Going to the children's hospital was an amazing experience! Seeing the kids still smile after everything they went through put a smile in my face. It made me realize that life is way too short to take for granted and to count my blessing."
This past September the Lady Tigers volunteered for the first time with the Miracle League of Tuscaloosa. The Miracle League provides an opportunity for special needs children and young adults to play the game of baseball. Marion's softball players played catch with them and cheered them on as they hit homeruns and ran the bases. Sophomore infielder, Rachel Gauspohl, loved having the opportunity to work with the players. "Going and helping out with the miracle league made me realize how lucky I really am. It taught me not to take things for granted. These kids are going through a rough time and will for the rest of their lives. Putting a smile on their face is the best feeling in the world. They helped me out by also giving me a different kind of awareness - an awareness that will allow me to pass on knowledge to other people in the community so they too can understand what it's like to help out a great organization. With everything that is going on in the world this is an organization that you can truly feel what it's like to be fully appreciated. It has given me a new meaning life other people's life how precious things can be."
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