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Bulloch Academy Lady Gators to continue fight against Alzheimer's
Darron Burnette, left, and Bulloch Academy coach Chandler Dennard (kneeling, right center) pose with umpires during the 2013 "Striking Out Alzheimer's" event. - photo by Special

    The Bulloch Academy varsity softball team will do its part to bring an end to a horribly devastating disease by hosting the third annual Miriam Burnette Memorial "Striking Out Alzheimer’s" softball tournament on July 30-31.
    The two-day charity event will be held at the Georgia Southern University intramural and the GSU Lady Eagle fields on Fair Road and Memorial Field across from Wendy’s and features 14 public and private school teams.
    Local and area teams involved are Southeast Bulloch, Tattnall Square Academy, Vidalia, John Milledge Academy, Thomson, Effingham County, Stratford Academy, Appling County, Pinewood, Bryan County, David Emanuel Academy, Jeff Davis and host Bulloch Academy.
    There will be three games on all four fields Wednesday, starting at 11 a.m. On Thursday, the action will again be spread over all four fields, starting at 9 a.m.
    Admission is $10 daily for adults and $5 for students. Concessions will be available. All proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.
    The Lady Gator softball team and the Striking Out committee together have already raised over $15,000. According to Darron Burnette, the tournament’s co-founder, local Alzheimer’s Association board member and Sea Island Bank president and CEO, the goal is to exceed $20,000 this year to help end the dreaded disease.
    “Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to loss of memory and other brain functions,” said Burnette. “Funding for Alzheimer's care, support and research comes from individuals, businesses and and other special events like the ‘Striking Out Alzheimer’s’ softball tournament to fight this terrible disease.
    “This event will kick off a host of other activities,” continued Burnette, “that will conclude with the annual ‘Walk to End Alzheimer's’ which will be held at Bulloch Academy on Nov. 8. Please join us for two days of fun and friendly competition next week. Your involvement accelerates our mission to eliminate Alzheimer's and to provide the care and support to those living with the disease.”
    GSU Athletics will provide free use of its softball fields and maintenance crews. Members of the Southern Eagle Baseball and Softball Officials Association will waive their normal umpiring fees.
    Originally named the Bulloch Bash, the BA-sponsored softball tournament evolved into a charity event two years ago for the Alzheimer’s Association.
    The first year, the tournament raised approximately $4,400 for research. It was then that the tournament was renamed the Miriam Burnette Memorial "Striking Out Alzheimer’s" Memorial Softball Tournament, in memory of Burnette’s mother.
    Last year, the tournament raised $17,250.
    The tournament’s home run sponsors include Action Signs; Benton Metal Depot; Citizens Bank for Bulloch County; Dabbs, Hickman, Hill and Cannon; Don and Lisa Aaron; East Georgia Crossfire Travel Softball; East Georgia Regional Medical Center; Howard Lumber and Hardware; John Love Insurance; Kenny and Julie Stone; Mellow Mushroom of Savannah; Sea Island Bank; Statesboro Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Stubbs Oil; The Windel Marsh family; Tri-Care Family Medicine; and Wells Fargo Advisors.