First responders bat for Angel of Hope in Palmyra

Dozens of Marion County first responders sported new uniforms Sunday in an effort to help a local cause.

Members from the Palmyra police and fire departments along with the Marion County EMS and Sheriff's Office merged at Flower City Park for some serious softball. But the day wasn't about the score, but rather the angels watching from above.

"I know there are a few of us out here and in the crowd that have had to suffer the loss of a child," Mike Miller said.

There's no greater tragedy for a parent, but there is a place of refuge.

"The Angel of Hope is a memorial garden for families that have lost children. Some Angels specifically do infants and children under a certain age, but to me, a child's a child," Tori Greving said. "So, our Angel is for any parent who's lost a child at any age."

Greving has three angels, all of whom are memorialized in an Angel of Hope garden in St. Charles. She hopes to bring a similar memorial to Palmyra. It's the reason for this game.

"It's taken several years for me to get up the courage to be out and about and share my story," Greving said.

"A couple times a year, we'll have brick laying ceremonies at the angel where you actually come and lay your brick," Greving said.

This was the first softball game for the cause and both teams are certain this won't be the last.

"We had a pretty decent turnout and it seems like everybody's having fun," Miller said.

Talks of a tournament involving even more teams are in the works for next year.

The men and women in blue may have won this game, but the only loss felt on this field is the loss of an angel.

"There's just so much around here and I feel like it's needed," Greving said.

A handful of events will take place in the coming months to help fund the Angel of Hope project in Palmyra. On Sept. 29, you're invited to bring the family and watch The Avengers, for Movie Night in the Park. Then, on Nov.17, you can take part in a Dinner Dance and Silent Auction. Click here for event details.