Merchants to play PSSBL All-Stars in charity game
Admission to the 7 p.m. game is free, but donations will be accepted to help pay for construction of a rural library in Vietnam.
Steve Konek of Arlington, a former Pacific International League president and Everett Merchants coach who is also a Vietnam veteran, initiated the benefit as a way to fund charitable projects in the southeast Asia country.
"I've always had a soft spot for the Vietnamese kids," Konek said. "I was in civil affairs work in Vietnam and I was involved at that time with kids, out in the villages giving medical care and that kind of thing. So that's important to me.
"It's something that's very dear to my heart, and the dollar goes a whole lot farther over there than it does here."
Konek, who is associated with the non-profit Vietnam Fund for Education, Music and Infrastructure, said that $3,000 has been earmarked for the new library.
The game will also mark the return to Everett for the Merchants, who recently completed a nine-day, nine-game swing through Alaska. The Merchants finished with a 4-5 record against the Anchorage Bucs, Alaska Goldpanners and Peninsula Oilers.
Tonight's game "is for a worthy cause," said Merchants manager Harold Pyatte. The Everett players "know what the proceeds are for and they know how important that is.
"And much like when we play the AquaSox (in the annual Everett Cup), it basically brings out the best in our team because we want to compete. It becomes a community thing, as the game with the AquaSox is. So we're looking forward to the game and to having some fun."
Tom Evans Krause, president of the PSSBL, said the "hand-picked" all-star squad will include top players from the 19-and-over Olympic Division and the 28-and-over Cascade Division.
Tonight's game "will be a lot of fun," he said. "We know it will be a very competitive level of ball. But it'll also be great in the sense that we know it's a charity fundraising event.
"The PSSBL is a non-profit organization, and part of our role in the community is to reach out and help wherever we can. This event certainly fits into our mission statement."
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