Park District Executive Director Larry Piekarz, left, awards the trophy. | Courtesy Torey A. Earl

On behalf of the Board of Park Commissioners of the Park District of Forest Park, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who helped make the 48th Annual Forest Park Invitational Softball Tournament a huge success.

Special thanks to Park District commissioners John Doss, Eric Entler, Cathy McDermott, Roy Sansone and Matt Walsh for their continued support in keeping the tradition of this most prestigious 16-inch softball tournament alive for all these years. They, along with our great recreation, maintenance, concession and office staff, put in countless hours of work each year for this event. The tournament is a “must-see” for any serious fan or player of “Chicagoland’s game” and we are proud that the tradition continues.

Many thanks to the players, team sponsors, umpires, scorekeepers, announcers, grounds crew and last but not least, Mr. Stats, tournament statistician, for their participation in this year’s tournament. I would also like to thank the fans who come out in record numbers, year after year, to enjoy the games.

Thanks to Burke Beverage and the Miller Brewing Company for their many years as tournament co-sponsors and to our new sponsor Tito’s Vodka. We would also like to thank the Forest Park Review for once again publishing the official program, as well as to ATI for the use of their parking facilities. Our appreciation is extended to Mayor Anthony Calderone, the Forest Park Village Council and the Police and Fire departments for their continued support.

We would especially like to express our appreciation to our wonderful group of volunteers who come forward each year to make the food and concessions operation second to none. It would be impossible to list all of them in this letter, but I just wanted to publicly say that without these volunteers, we certainly couldn’t do it alone. Thank you all once again for giving your time for the enjoyment of others.

This year’s tournament marked our 48th anniversary and, with the support of the community, we are looking forward to many more. Again, thank you to everyone who helps to make the annual tournament a great success that showcases the wonderful spirit of our community.

Larry Piekarz

Director, Park District of Forest Park