8th Annual "KICK" Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament

Downtown Athletics

March 29, 2023
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“Tangerine Dream Team” Crowned 2023 Kickball Champs
Success From United Way Tournament Will Provide 1,048 Scholarships

Spring Hill, FL – March 29, 2023 – United Way of Hernando County’s 8th Annual “KICK” Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament was hosted on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Anderson Snow Park. This tournament was proudly presented by United Way’s “Grand Slam Champion” Sponsors Kiwanis Club of Brooksville and Family Chiropractic Center for Wellness.

Over 3,000 attendees enjoyed the variety of 14 food trucks and participated in United Way’s first ever “Food Truck Bingo”. With a high of 91 degrees on Saturday, the activities provided at the field were enough to keep patrons entertained from 12:00pm-7:00pm. This included over 20 vendors, face painting, raffle prizes, a sensory station for children, a free kid zone, Touch-A-Truck event, a Mascot Fun Run around the bases, an anticipated “Pie-a-Deputy” initiative and Celebrity Coach Dunk Tank. This family fun day included a Foam Party, music from PJ the DJ, a Bounce House, Foto Fun Booth, and a special performance of the National Anthem by Hernando’s very own talented singer, Sarina Singh.


Kickball teams are exclusively invited to participate and represent Hernando companies that align themselves with supporting local education initiatives with United Way. After a long evening of 16 Hernando business partners vying for the Ultimate Traveling Trophy in a single elimination kickball tournament, the final matchup came down to Downtown Athletics’ “Tangerine Dream Team” with Celebrity Coach Christa Tanner and Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative’s Team “WRECing Crew” with Celebrity Coach Doug Chorvat Jr. It was a close and intense game, but in the end “Tangerine Dream Team” was crowned the “Champions of Early Literacy.” Team Captain Bobby Read exclaimed, “Truly a great community event we look forward to every year! We are grateful for what United Way’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library brings to the kids in our community. Taking home, the championship trophy is just icing on the cake!”.

Thank you to participating teams and their accompanying “Celebrity Coaches” who competed in this year’s event:

  • City of Brooksville Mayor Blake Bell coach Congressman Gus Bilirakis’ team, "The Bilira-Kicks"
  • PHSC Provost Dr. Amy Anderson coaching Pasco Hernando State College’s team, "Boomer's Best"
  • April Johnson-Spence coaching Timber Pine's team, "Hammer Jammers
  • Brian Hawkins coaching Barrette Outdoor Living's team, "Barrette Knights"
  • Christa Tanner coaching Downtown Athletics’ team, "Tangerine Dream Team”
  • Doug Chorvat Jr. coaching Withlacoochee River Electric’s team "WRECing Crew"
  • Dr. Brian Dahmer coaching Publix Super Market at The Shoppes at Glen Lakes team, "No O.T.”
  • Beth Narverud coaching Publix Super Market at Brooksville Square's team, "Brooksville Beetem"
  • Dr. Lauren Dedea coaching Publix Super Market at Barclay's team, "Janet's Bandits"
  • Sheriff Al Nienhuis coaching Hernando County Sheriff’s team, "Trying to Score"
  • Allyn Welch coaching Publix Super Market at Seven Hills team, "Ball Busters”
  • Jeff Rogers coaching Publix Super Market at Mariner Commons team, "Jiminy Kick-It"
  • Jerry Campbell coaching Publix Super Market at Shoppes at Avalon's team, "Kevin's Kickers"
  • Hernando County Fire Chief Paul Hasenmeier coaching Bravera Health Spring Hill's team, "One Kick Wonders"
  • Attorney Brian Brijbag coaching Publix Super Market at Lakewood Plaza's team, "The Wolves of Ball Street"
  • Superintendent of Hernando County Schools John Stratton coaching Hernando School’s team, "Gym Class Heroes"


The Kickball Tournament's purpose is to support early literacy and continue providing Hernando preschool children free books to help them prepare for kindergarten. The proceeds raised from this event will provide 1,048 1-year scholarships to Hernando pre-school children in United Way’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. This level of support is equivalent to 12,576 books distributed this next year alone! Downtown Athletics’ Celebrity Coach, Christa Tanner, shared, “This is such a great community event that everyone looks forward to year after year. It was an honor to be a celebrity coach this year & taking home the championship title was an unexpected extra! I am thankful to the United Way of Hernando County for putting on this impactful event to assist their initiative in providing literacy pathways for children in our community through United Way’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library.” 

The following local Celebrity Coaches were voted for a dip in the Dunk Tank by attendees, PHSC Provost Dr. Amy Anderson (voted), Publix District Manager Allyn Welch (voted), Hernando County Administrator Jeff Rogers (selected), and United Way Executive Director Angie B. Walasek (selected).

United Way would also like to thank Hernando County Parks and Recreation, United Way of Hernando County volunteers, Board Members, and Kickball Planning Committee Members for generously donating their time, talents, and efforts to help make this event such a success. Thank you for always #LIVINGUNITED with us.

Visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org/Kickball or follow our Facebook Page for information on event entertainment, participants, and opportunities. For more ways to GIVE, ADVOCATE, or VOLUNTEER for our future events, contact Justine Peppe at Impact@UnitedWayHernando.org or call 352-688-2026.



United Way of Hernando County, Inc.:
United Way of Hernando County (UWHC) was established as a 501c3 organization in 1987, and since then has continuously focused on creating partnerships and mobilizing our community to seek sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing local needs.  UWHC strategically allocates Community Investment Funds in Health, Education, & Financial Stability programs with proven results and local impact. UWHC works hard to balance the growing demand for basic services such as food, utilities, and rent assistance, with our ongoing commitment to tackling the underlying causes of complex issues. United Way partners with businesses and organizations that share our vision for improving lives through the power of collective impact and working together. Our support for long-term commitments are essential to addressing key social issues, such as helping children, youth, adults & elders, encouraging health and wellness, including physical and emotional care, promoting financial stability and self-sufficiency, and crisis intervention. For more information on how YOU can LIVE UNITED, visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org