Every summer since 2000, the University of West Georgia teams up with the Carroll County Sertoma Club and the Comprehensive Community Clinic at UWG to hold the Sertoma Fantasy Baseball Camp at Cole Field. The camp provides children from the Carrollton community the opportunity to play baseball in a safe environment alongside UWG coaches, players, and speech-language professionals at UWG.

Jacob Nelson and Skip Fite
Jacob Nelson and Skip Fite

“The CCC serves the community, and almost all the kids that attend the Sertoma Fantasy Baseball Camp are children who either come to our clinic for different services or are their siblings,” said Dr. Laura Smith, director of the CCC.

This year, the Sertoma Fantasy Baseball Camp honored Jacob Nelson, a young man who has attended the camp for the past seven years. Jacob is the 14 year-old son of Harry and Becky Nelson, both of whom work at UWG. Head Baseball Coach Skip Fite honored Jacob as an honorary member of the Wolves, presenting him with a UWG baseball jersey and hat.

Jacob is autistic and has been visiting the CCC and its speech therapy program since he was just three years old.

“Jacob has always looked forward to and been excited about this camp,” said Harry Nelson, Jacob's father. “It's special to him because he doesn't get an opportunity to play on teams too much in school, but this is a big opportunity for him, and to be a part of a team is a huge deal for Jacob.”

The smile on Jacob's face and his big thumbs up is something everyone in attendance will never forget.

“We're just really grateful to the Sertoma Club, to the Comprehensive Community Clinic, the baseball players, and Coach Fite for spending their time to do this with the students and kids that come out to the camp,” added Jacob's mother, Becky. “It's definitely an opportunity for some that they would not get otherwise.”

UWG finance professor Dr. Charles Hodges has served as director of the camp since 2003 and looks forward to reaching out to the community each summer.

“The Sertoma Fantasy Baseball Camp is a wonderful event that is great for the West Georgia area, and the Sertoma Club is extremely proud to support this important camp,” said Dr. Hodges. “Hopefully it be an event that continues to go on for many, many years into the future.”

Posted on June 12, 2015