Photo by D’Ann Tedford 
                                Senior Softball Manager and Coach Gene Tuffs holds a softball, a slow pitch bat and a tennis racquet signed by Billie Jean King. Judi Kloss, an assistant coach, handed out basketballs to those along the Maple Valley Days parade route.

Photo by D’Ann Tedford Senior Softball Manager and Coach Gene Tuffs holds a softball, a slow pitch bat and a tennis racquet signed by Billie Jean King. Judi Kloss, an assistant coach, handed out basketballs to those along the Maple Valley Days parade route.

Parade catches senior gifts

  • Friday, June 14, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

Wielding bats, balls, gloves and a huge array of enough sports equipment to stock a store, Maple Valley Merchants Plus scored “an astonishing success” in the parade at Maple Valley Days.

Senior Co-ed Softball team members gave away dozens of items including 35 new basketballs, five buckets of softballs, 15 fast and slow pitch bats, mitts, clothing, tennis racquets, plastic Wiffle balls and more.

The most valuable gifts went to three different recipients who might be surprised to learn that their tennis racquet (with Billie Jean King’s signature imprinted) is priced at $125 on eBay.

Maple Valley Merchants Plus consists of two senior co-ed softball teams. They just completed the first half of their season. Coach and manager, Gene Tuffs, initially started senior co-ed softball in Maple Valley 15 years ago. He is recruiting for the second half of the season beginning soon. Players must be age 50 or over.

Both beginners and accomplished players can contact him at 253-632-4591 for information about senior teams in Maple Valley and in other local towns.

At the Maple Valley Days event, team members gifted back to their supportive community. They appeared healthy, spry and task-oriented while dashing up and down the parade’s street dispensing hundreds of sports items.

“We gave everything away and I think it was all appreciated,” said Coach Tuffs of the vast and impressive generosity of teams, players, coaches and other individuals.

Country music blared from atop a 20-foot trailer painted in bright orange, a team color. Blue banners and shiny orange balloons floated around and above multiple bags containing sports equipment along with shopping bags full of candy dispensed to hundreds of children and adults watching the annual parade.

Sponsors of Maple Valley Merchants Plus, as noted on the team’s banner, included the City of Maple Valley, Pinnacle Physical Therapy, Hansen Homes, Caporal Mexican Restaurant, Ascent Audiology and Hearing in Covington, W. Real Estate Services, Maple Valley Signs, Tractor Supply in Enumclaw, Greater Maple Valley Community Center, Maple Valley Dental Care, and www.i5driving.com.

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