"KICK" Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament PSA

March 20, 2024

Angie B. Walasek, CEO Angie@UnitedWayHernando.org
Justine Peppe, CID Impact@UnitedWayHernando.org   


United Way’s “KICK” Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament
Kickball, Food Trucks, Bounce House, and More!



Spring Hill, FL – March 20, 2024 – United Way of Hernando County’s 9th Annual “KICK” Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament is bigger than ever! Save the Date for Saturday, April 6, 2024 at Anderson Snow Park - 1360 Anderson Snow Rd, Spring Hill, FL 34609. This tournament is proudly presented by United Way’s “Grand Slam Champion” Sponsors Tampa General Hospital Spring Hill/Brooksville. Each year, 16 Kickball Teams compete in this single elimination tournament for a chance to win the Ultimate Traveling Trophy and have the honor of being crowned “Champions of Early Literacy.” Teams are exclusively invited to participate and represent company partners of United Way in Hernando that align themselves with supporting local philanthropy.


The Kickball Tournament's purpose is to support early literacy and continue to provide Hernando preschool children free books to help them grow their own little library and prepare them for kindergarten. All proceeds from this the "KICK" Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament will benefit United Way’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, currently providing over 1,050 Hernando children with a free book every month from birth to age of five. The books are mailed directly to enrolled children regardless of their family’s economic status.


Event Schedule:

  • 12:00pm: Food Truck Rally & Touch-A-Truck event
  • 1:00pm: Kid Zone Kick-Off
  • 1:30pm: Kickball Teams Check-In
  • 2:00pm: Mascot Fun Run
  • 2:45pm: National Anthem
  • 3:00pm: Kickball Games Commence
  • 6:00pm: Raffle Prize Winners Announced
  • 6:30pm: Championship Game on Field #3

In addition, each team is represented by a “Celebrity Coach” that leads their team all the way to victory. This year Celebrity Coaches will be challenged to bring in votes from the crowds for their support to avoid going for a dip in the Dunk Tank. This family fun day will also include music from PJ the DJ, a Bounce House and Carnival Games, Foto Fun Booth, craft vendors, and a special performance of the National Anthem by Hernando’s very own talented singer, Snow Anna Mazourek.


The 16 participating teams have been finalized and matched up with their designated local “Celebrity Coach”, striving to avoid the Dunk Tank:

  • Dr. Brian Dahmer coaching Tampa General Hospital’s team, “One Kick Wonders”
  • City of Brooksville Mayor Blake Bell coaching Coastal Engineering’s team, “Kicks & Giggles”
  • Attorney Brian Brijbag coaching Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens, & More’s team, “Rivera’s Kickin’ Kitcheneers”
  • PHSC Provost Dr. Amy Anderson coaching Publix Super Market at Shoppes at Avalon's team, "Kevin's Kickers"
  • Hits 106 Marvelous Marvin coaching Publix Super Market at The Shoppes at Glen Lakes team, "Glen Lakers”
  • Hernando County Board of County Commissioner Brian Hawkins coaching Timber Pine’s team, “Hammer Jammers”
  • Hernando County Emergency Management Director Dave DeCarlo coaching HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital’s team, “LifeSavers”
  • Hernando County Board of County Commissioner Jerry Campbell coaching Regions Bank’s team, “Balls of Fury”
  • City of Brooksville Vice Mayor Christa Tanner coaching Downtown Athletics’ team, "Tangerine Dream Team”
  • Superintendent of Hernando Count Schools John Stratton coaching Hernando School’s team, "Saved By The Ball"
  • Joel Fritton coaching Barrette Outdoor Living's team, "Barrette Knights"
  • Hernando County Fire Chief & Public Safety Director Paul Hasenmeier coaching Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative’s team "WRECking Crew"
  • Hernando County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller Doug Chorvat Jr. coaching Clerk of Court’s team, “The Mighty Dougs”
  • Dr. Lauren Dedea from Dedea M.D. Family Medicine coaching Publix Super Market at Brooksville Square's team, "Brooksville Skillz"
  • Sheriff Al Nienhuis coaching Publix Super Market at Hernando West Plaza’s team, "187-WON”
  • Publix’s Brittany Montmarquet coaching Publix Super Market at Lakewood Plaza’s team, "Riki’s Rockets”


This year’s current line-up for United Way’s Food Truck Rally includes Spice Corner, Cali Street Tacos, Love Corn Dogs, Brain Freeze Italian Ice, and Murph Coffee Company! Field Sponsors include HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital, Carter Foreman, PLLC, Brijbag Law, and Kiwanis Club of Brooksville. Base Run Baller Sponsors, as of March, include Micro Matic, Grow Financial, Family Chiropractic Center for Wellness, Comfort Control Specialists, and Allstate by Jason Aldrich. Publix is always recognized by United Way of Hernando County as an active Community Partner thanks to their ongoing level of support towards our mission. The Touch-a-Truck event features the ARGO amphibious vehicle used by Hernando County Mosquito Control, FOP truck, Fire Rescue Air Boat, and first responder vehicles for children to enjoy.


Fans and supporters of the event will also notice over 30 cause-brand marketing yard signs from local “Double Play Sponsors” throughout the park that day. Find a sign, take a picture with it and tag United Way of Hernando County and #Ballin4Books. Our annual Mascot Fun Run will be held on Field #3 at 2:00 p.m. The current line-up includes Plato the Dinosaur of Publix Supermarkets, Scoopie of Culvers, Smiley of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, Boomer of Pasco Hernando State College, Floyd Dolphin of J.D. Floyd Elementary School, Weeki Wachee Hornet of Weeki Wachee High School, and Hernando Leopard of Hernando High School.


A Spirit Night at Texas Roadhouse will be hosted Thursday, April 4th from 3:00pm to 9:00pm, where 10% of food sales will be donated back to United Way. Come meet the Celebrity Coaches who will be participating this year’s Kickball Tournament. Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets (available online, as well as on-site at the day of the event) for amazing prizes, including a 10-foot Kayak and Tampa Bay Rays tickets!


Visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org/Kickball for information on event entertainment, participants, and opportunities. For more ways to GIVE, ADVOCATE, or VOLUNTEER for this event, 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.