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Sponsors give boost to national Legion tourney this week in Edwardsville


EDWARDSVILLE – Sponsors have so far brought in some $30,000 in cash and services to support the Great Lakes Regional American Legion National Baseball Tournament that gets underway this week in Edwardsville.

Ron Tanner of Confluence Business Advisors, host committee member, and sponsor, said the commitment from each and every business “goes beyond the sponsorship. We have an opportunity to impact lives, honor our military, and lift communities. Players can expect to take home an experience of a lifetime.”

The tournament is one of eight regional sites from which the champions will advance to the American Legion World Series to be held in Shelby, N.C., and televised on ESPNU.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville plays host to the national event, which will attract the attention of league and college scouts. The players, from six Midwestern states, will arrive in town on Tuesday, Aug. 2, to participate for the better part of a week.

The city of Edwardsville, Edison’s Entertainment, Anderson Hospital, The Bank of Edwardsville, Roberts Ford,, and Confluence Business Advisors headline a list of contributors. Key sponsors are Holiday Inn Express in Edwardsville, Quality Buick GMC Cadillac, Scott Credit Union, Cassens Chrysler Dodge Jeep, and St. Peters Hardware.

Contegra, Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli, PC, The Horinko Group, PS McGinnis Consulting, Mark Stunkel Trucking, Madison Mutual, State Farm – Rick Marteeny, Dooling Machine Products, Fischer Lumber, and Visionary Wealth Management have also contributed to the event.

People can watch sponsor interviews and get the latest tournament information online at

“Brad Hewitt and Emily Skowron, of SIUE Athletics, have gone the extra mile to help us facilitate this event,” explained Dennis Sharp, tournament director. “And Steve Jankowski, general manager of WSIE 88.7FM, has arranged for the station to broadcast the championship game live on Sunday (Aug. 7). This will be the best regional tournament in the country.”

Opening ceremonies, held on the field Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 4 p.m., will include local dignitaries, a special color guard and anthem, a salute to the military and a brief presentation from the mayor of Edwardsville, as well as the recitation of the American Legion code of honor from all players participating.

Some 15 games will be played at Simmons Baseball Complex/Roy Lee Field located on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville off of New Poag Road in Edwardsville. Tickets are available at the door, and all tournament information and updates are online at Game sessions $5 per ticket, a day pass is $10, and an all-tournament pass is only $30. Teams will feature graduating high school seniors and college aged freshman from Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.

Those interested in getting involved as a volunteer, a sponsor, or to simply help promote the event can contact Matt McSparin at (618) 307-9020 or or Ron Tanner at (618) 570-9125 or for more information.

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