Over the years, Windmill Park in Fairmont has been the site of hundreds of softball games, but for those who knew a fallen Nutter Fort firefighter, Saturday's tournament had a special meaning.
For family, friends, the Nutter Fort Volunteer Fire Department, and the entire community, the loss of Michael Garrett has been evident since he gave the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of others.
"Words cannot describe him. Words can't describe how we feel and the loss that we feel," said Kevin Kimble of the Nutter Fort Volunteer Fire Department.
"He did love to help people. I remember since I was little. Him being a teenager, always helping the neighbors out," said Katie Garrett, Michael's sister.
But as dozens of people proved on Saturday, "Mikey" will never be forgotten, as 14 softball teams went to bat in his memory.
"It's been a little stressful, but it's come together with the help of his family and my wife, the Nutter Fort Fire Department," said organizer Joshua Scheuvront, who said the planning was well worth the time and effort.
"I started talking to people who actually knew Michael, and I was overwhelmed by how much everybody loved him. He touched so many people. So I was like, 'This would be something to do for a good cause for him,'" said Scheuvront.
Those who knew Mikey best say he always had a passion for helping others - a trait that runs in his family.
"My mom and dad were in the fire department, I was in the fire department, we have another sister that's an EMT," said Julie Freeman, Michael's sister.
"It's gonna help future EMTs and paramedics. He was actually attending Fairmont State College to become a paramedic. It started when he was young, he went to Junior EMS camp when he was 15. It started from there and never stopped," said Freeman.
Scheuvront said the tournament will be an annual event.
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