Pops Stiglitz’s legacy continues

Pops Stiglitz continues to be remembered fondly as a family man, and major supporter of Marathon High School and Stanley Switlik Elementary. The Career and Technical Center at Marathon High School is named in his honor — “Pop’s Place.” His memory also lives on through the annual Pops Stiglitz coed softball tournament and home run derby that raises money for Marathon High School scholarships taking place the weekend of April 21-23.

“Pops’ thing was simple. If you raise $500, you better give out $500, and we have been keeping with that tradition,” said Bambi Kuck, the event co-organizer with Oni Ferreiro. “Pops was always raising money for the kids, and was always looking for different ways to help the schools.”

Last year, the addition of the home run derby meant an extra night to the tournament. Kelley Struyf, of the Stiglitz family team, was a home run derby participant last year and plans to do it again this year.  “I think the guys like it the most because they get to measure up to each other,” said the 2011 Marathon High School graduate. “Plus there is beer, raffles, stuff like that. It’s a lot of fun.”

The derby takes place on Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. at the Marathon Community Park fields. The batter and pitcher must be signed up to play in the weekend’s tournament. There will also be a D.J. and raffles that evening.

The tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23. “It’s a great weekend, and a great cause,” said Neil Cataldo, who has been playing in the Marathon tournaments since the inception of the Pops tournament’s predecessor, the Nate Grill tournament. “It shows the commitment of this community to continue to give to the youth.”

Kuck expects a full field this year and can’t wait to raise more money for Marathon kids. “We want more spectators for the tournament,” she said. “We really hope more people will come out and watch; there is some really good softball being played out there.” Plus, beer and full concession — what’s not to love?

Last year, 16 Marathon High School students received $13,000 raised from the tournament for college scholarships. Marathon High School seniors can find the scholarship application in the CAPS office. The application is due by May 12. Also, students who need community service hours are welcome to volunteer; call Bambi Kuck at 305-731-3800. 

The coed softball tournament (seven guys, three girls) takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23. The deadline to sign up a team is Friday, April 7. For more information on the tournament, visit popsstiglitzscholarship.com or the Facebook page.

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Pops Stiglitz, right, rides in the Marathon High School homecoming parade, and is remembered in the annual softball tournament in his name that raises money for high school scholarships. CONTRIBUTED

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