Baseball Games Raise Funds To Strike Out ALS

Kristi Biniker, with her sons Jackson and Braden, watched Drew Biniker’s U13 Junior Generals team take on the Bowling Green Diamond Cats during a June 7 Strike Out ALS game. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

When Kristi Biniker’s father, Leroy Wright, was diagnosed in 2019 with ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease –she and her family decided to take action.

Last week, the Binikers hosted two Strike Out ALS baseball games to raise funds for the Walk to Defeat ALS.

Wearing Strike Out ALS T-shirts, Drew Biniker’s Junior Generals U13 team took on the Bowling Green Diamond Cats on June 7 while Jackson Biniker’s Junior Generals U11 team faced the Bedford Select team on June 9. Both games were hosted in Whitehouse. This is the second year for the event, which raised $1,500 for Leroy’s Pit Crew.

Leroy Wright passed away in November 2021 from ALS, for which there is currently no cure. 

“When it’s diagnosed, it’s usually a death sentence,” Kristi said. “It’s 100-percent fatal. There is no cure, but progress is being made with research.”

That’s why the family decided to host the fundraiser in 2021 and again this year, even though Kristi’s work as an intervention specialist at Maumee High School keeps her very busy.

“I wasn’t planning on doing anything, but the kids insisted,” she said, noting that Drew, Jackson and his twin, Braden, were all very close to their grandfather.

For some reason, veterans are 60 percent more likely to get ALS.

“My dad was a Navy veteran who served on a ship during the Vietnam War,” Kristi said. “The VA was very helpful in providing 100 percent of the costs for care and equipment.”

The Walk to Defeat ALS is dedicated to raising funds for ALS research. The Strike Out ALS event included the baseball games, concessions and the raffling off of a special Mud Hens-themed table.

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