BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There was fun and a little competition in the atmosphere at Hiller Park on Saturday. Boyington Healthcare leaders hosted a community kickball tournament to raise money to buy Christmas presents for nursing home residents.
"Well, we were just trying to think of a way to raise funds for the nursing home, and we thought what a fun way to do a kick ball tournament to get the community involved," said Leslie Bucklar.
According to Bucklar, who is the Community Relations Director at Boyington Healthcare, 11 teams participated in the competition made up of local healthcare system's employees, families and friends.
"We have five nursing facilities. We have hospice companies, DME companies and home health companies," said Bucklar.
Bucklar says every year at Christmas the staff will notice some residents who never get a visit from family or a gift. That is why the Boyington staff decided to do something about it.
"I love my residents, and there's not anything I wouldn't do for them," said Edgar Harris, who is an employee at Boyington Healthcare.
Harris says in past years, he has gone into his own pocket to buy his residents gifts, but after this kickball tournament, employees from all the different healthcare systems are hoping that will no longer have to happen.
"It's about coming together, being there for a lot of older patients that do not have family members who are in the nursing homes by themselves," said Georgeanna Montalto, who works for Grace Healthcare.
The first annual kickball tournament raised $4,155. The money will be split evenly between all the nursing homes that participated to buy Christmas presents for residents.