HOULTON, Maine — Family and friends of Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Henderson will gather next weekend to honor the fallen soldier.
The sixth annual Aaron Henderson Memorial Softball tournament takes place Friday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 12, at Houlton Community Park. An opening ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, followed by the start of the second day of softball action.
Sgt. 1st Class Aaron A. Henderson was just 33 years old when he died Oct. 2, 2012, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device on Sept. 30, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
“We have maxed out with 14 teams this year,” said event organizer Brad Fredericks, one of Henderson’s close friends. “That is so great. We have two new teams this year — a team from Topsfield and a team from Woodstock. It’s going to be a great and long weekend so we hope people come spend some money on some of the great raffle items, have some great food and enjoy the games. All the money we raise is donated to the Green Beret Foundation in Aaron’s honor.”
The softball tournament is a “2 and 2” pitch tournament, which means the batter already has two strikes and two foul balls against them. A third foul ball results in an out.
“The reason we do this is games will only go for about an hour, which helps with so many teams and only one field,” Fredericks said.
In addition, a 5K road race will be held starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. To sign up for the road race, visit: https://runsignup.com/Race/ME/Houlton/AaronHendersonMemorial5K. This 5K will be a cross country style race, which is the Houlton High School and GHCA cross country course. This course can be muddy, crosses a small river bed and fields, and contains some rough terrain and tree roots across parts of the trail. The first 50 participants will receive a free T-shirt.
Last year, the tournament and run raised a grand total of $6,213.
Students from the Greater Houlton Christian Academy will be on site selling concessions throughout the event. All the money they make stays with them to support the Christian Academy. In addition, a large number of items, including a handgun and numerous gift cards will be raffled off.
New this year is the addition of a “corn hole” tournament being held Saturday, Aug. 11, starting at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.