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Softball Tournament Honors Crispinelli's Memory, Benefits Foundation

The day was filled with sun and softball, as the town of Somers gathered to support the Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Foundation for the second year in a row.

The sun shined on Reis Park Sunday as over 300 people gathered to play or watch a softball tournament organized to raise money for The Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian Foundation. 

"It's amazing to see the people coming out," says Mike Crispinelli, Stephanie's brother. "I don't even know half the people here," he added when mentioning the abundant support that the family has received. 

The park was fully rented out for the occasion with two softball games simultaneously played as 13-year-old DJ Frankie spun the music.

The crowd was entertained with sport, sun, facepainting, dunking the target in the splash tank and bidding in the silent auction. This year's tournament was even more successful then last year raising well over the goal of $10,000. 

"People started pouring in right at 11 a.m.," said Mia Mirabile, comparing the day to last year's tournament when the crowd was slower to filter in. "We're excited because it must mean more people know about the foundation." She had already received a large donation of $1,000 by mid-day, she said.

Although the smiles were infinite and spirits were high, everyone remembered the reason why they were there.

Lisa Tenenzaph sat in the bleachers rooting for "Crispy's Cougars," the team on which Stephanie's mother, Lin Crispinelli, played. She said she couldn't help but notice the amount of people that filled the Somers park.

"This town is amazing," she says, "I'm from a small town, but we never did anything like this."

When watching and thinking of Lin Crispinelli, Tenenzaph said the pain was still fresh. "Being a mom I could never imagine going through this," she says. "She was such a good kid, it just doesn't make sense." 

However, in her blue "Crispy's Cougar's" team t-shirt, Lin Crispinelli was elated with the amount of support that she was receiving.

"I don't even know how to express it," she says, "The town is like one big family, its unbelievable."  

14-year-old Ciara McDonnel, who was once baby-sat by Stephanie Crispinelli, participated in the tournament and said she wanted to help in any way she could.

"She did so much for other people, and I want to follow in her footsteps," she says. McDonnel is also one of the 10 people that went to Jamaica with the Crispinelli's to build schools and homes. 

The day was defined by the town of Somers—everyone and everything was local and close to home. 

Rebbeca Line, 21, and a childhood friend of Crispinelli's, painted a portrait of Stephanie that received the highest bid during the silent auction. 

Kayla Morelli, on a break from leading a band entertaining the crowd, said Stephanie loved the way she sang. She remembered that Crispinelli was present at her last performance, and said she had a few butterflies before taking the stage. "I'm more nervous for why I'm singing, because the last time I sang, she was there," said Morelli.

Through her song set, Morelli sang a rendition of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," Crispinelli's favorite song. 

Though played in fun, there was a friendly competition for the softball win. Christine Tripodi, 20, captain of the tournament-winning team, "The E-Lemon-Ators," gave her team a pep talk before the championship game.

"I just told them that, 'we may want to win, but lets remember why we're here in the first place," said Tripodi, happy that everyone could come together for this event.

Mirabile collected checks of donation until the very end of the day. 

"I'm so happy that people are supporting Stephanie's passion," said Mirabile, already knowing that the days' goal was achieved without even having to count.   

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