Fundraising whiffle ball tourney held for teen fighting leukemia

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 24, 2010 at 10:34 AM

LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Ashley Aven bangs a grounder down the first base line. The former Meadowdale High softball player is the focus of this huge whiffle ball tournament.

Ashley is fighting leukemia.

"Pretty incredible support," said dad Bill Aven.

"I didn’t know there as going to be all these teams," said Ashley.

"It's pretty amazing that everybody showed up," said Bill.

More than a dozen softball teams turned out. Even former Mariner Jay Buhner was there. He's been a big backer of the Avens.

Ashley's coach, Dennis Hopkins, said he took calls from many people who just wanted to help.

"She's been a player of mine for four years and she's like part of my family, like a kid that's one of my kids, and when schools started calling me and asking what could they do to help, after the article, we decided athletes like competition and what could we do to have fun and a good time, so we came up with a whiffle ball tournament," he said.

So for this day these former rivals come together as one to raise some money for Ashley's battle and to create one big team on the field.

"We're all a family here, out to support and to really help this family get through this time together," said Coach Christian Dahl of Juanita High School.

"It's amazing," said Ashley.

In January, doctors gave Ashley just two months to live. Now she's four months into what her dad calls a "two month nightmare," and she's hoping to walk with the Meadowdale graduating class this year.

Anyone interested in helping the Aven family can donate to the Ashley K. Aven Foundation at any Wells Fargo Bank.

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