The second annual Livastride Home Run Derby and Summer Slam Tournament were hosted in Morgan last weekend. This tournament has drawn a crowd of nearly 3,000 people to Morgan City since its inception. There were 50 teams that competed in this year’s Summer Slam and Morgan’s own high school baseball team took second place in their division.
Kids from 7-100 were invited to participate in the Home Run Derby. This event gives them the chance to come out and swing like the pros. Prizes were awarded to the top three competitors and every child that participated was rewarded with a T-shirt. The Summer Slam Tournament was a fun, competitive three-day event. The winners of this year’s event for each age group were: 9U: DC Sox, 10U: Utah Grizzlies, 11U: SF True Players, 12U: Salt Lake Sidewinders and High School: Savon Baseball.
This tournament is strongly supported by local businesses such as Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn, Ridleys, and Barber Bros. All proceeds go towards scholarships and Christmas sponsorships provided through Livastride, a sister company to Peterson Wealth Services, Inc. Scholarships are given to students who have overcome adversity. Students are required to write an essay to apply. One of this year’s winners, Kaitlinn Neal, wants to be a social worker and help kids who have disabilities and their families. Her mom was in a terrible ATV accident when she was only 10 years old that left her mom paralyzed from the waist down. She knows that she wants to give back to the community by helping families like hers get through their challenges.
The tournament and derby were the brainchild of Billy Peterson, CEO and founder of Livastride, a non-profit organization. Billy is a native of Morgan where he currently resides with his wife, Heather, and their five children. The Livastride foundation’s mission is to help adolescents live life to the fullest.
Billy’s brother Brody was a happy, caring, energetic young man who had everything to live for, but suffered from depression and took his own life at too young an age. Since then, Billy and the Livastride foundation have targeted adolescents that are experiencing emotional, social and academic challenges and help them develop skills that will allow them to become healthy and successful adults. Shaun Peterson, who writes a monthly finance article for The Morgan County News, is also a board member for Livastride and is instrumental to the tournament’s success.