The Ricky Saxton Coed Softball Tournament returns to Yazoo this weekend for a fourth year.
A softball tournament was an obvious choice for honoring Saxton’s memory as he was both an avid player and the biggest fan of his children and grandchildren when they began playing sports.
But the most important way the tournament honor’s Saxton’s memory is by giving back to the community.
Stacey Milner, Ricky Saxton’s daughter, said the tournament has had an average of 18 teams over the past three years.
“We choose softball because that was always a big part of my Daddy’s life,” Milner said. “He loved the sport. When we were younger, we were at the fields every weekend while he played on the Wild Bunch. Then when we started getting older and playing Daddy came and watched or coached us. Now we do it not only to remember Dad, but also to give back to this community.”
Milner said the proceeds from the tournament have been put to good use.
“Every penny donated to this benefit is used as we feel God leads our hearts,” she said.
“Several people have asked the question, ‘What does this money go towards?" So I want to make sure this community understands what they are supporting.”
Some of the things the money has been used for include:
n Money is donated to families in need at Christmas.
“Kids were always a huge part of my Daddy’s heart,” Milner said. “He loved kids and kids loved him. The instant kids were in Daddy’s presence they were encouraged, felt loved, felt important. He captivated the hearts of kids, and he always made sure kids did not go without at Christmas. Therefore, we try to give a large portion to help several families at Christmas!”
A Visa card was donated to a Yazoo husband and father of three who was battling cancer.
School uniforms and supplies were purchased to help a widow who had lost her husband in a tragic accident.
Financial assistance was given to a family to help with the cost of traveling to MD Anderson to get a plan to beat cancer.
Financial assistance was donated to a single mother with two children who lost everything in a house fire.
Food and hygiene items were donated to a local woman in need.
A donation was given to a family whose five-year-old was diagnosed with cancer. Both parents are unable to work everyday due to the extensive chemo and hospital stays.
A donation to Yazoo Parks and Recreation as a "thank you" for supporting so many benefits each year.
Donations have been given to several families in Yazoo who tragically lost children.
Financial assistance was given to a man battling cancer who would be out of work for awhile.
“Every family that receives help from this benefit also receives a card from our family with a hand-written note,” Milner said. “We share whatever God places on our hearts to share. Mainly how He can be trusted through the unimaginable. God has been so good to us. We have joy in our hearts and a smile on our face because He lives. They are also reminded that the help comes because this community supports this benefit.”
Milner said she believes her father would be happy to know that the event is giving back to the community.
“My Daddy loved Yazoo, and he loved the people in Yazoo,” she said. “He made a huge impact on every life he encountered on this earth, and through this benefit he is still making an impact. It allows us to see God do great things through our broken hearts. I pray that the proceeds from this benefit not only provide for others financially but also spiritually. I pray it fills each receiver with hope for their future.”