DENVER — While the experience at Play Ball Park at The Colorado Convention Center is supposed to be fun for kids, organizers of a special event that took place there his weekend hope it has a lasting impact on families that continue to deal with a tragic loss.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a national nonprofit helping families who lost a loved one in the military, brought 20 families from around Colorado to experience All Star Game Weekend.
And on Monday, TAPS and Major League Baseball set up a clinic for kids to learn the game and bond with each other.
James Stall and his 7-year-old son Mason were some of the participants. They lost mom and wife Cassandra Stall, an Army Major, who Stall said died of cancer two years ago after exposure to toxins on duty.
"It's been a hard time and it still is," Stall said. "When his mom was alive, she used to take him to T-ball."
TAPS Vice President Diana Hosford said the idea is to share the love of the game of baseball in the name of their loved ones.
"The core of TAPS is peer-based emotional support," Hosford said. "The kids really do connect and you know they follow each other on social media or they text or they get together when they're not at a TAPS event. So, yes, we do see that these bonds are really, really strong."
Before the baseball clinic, the Colorado Rockies and Major League Baseball donated $50,000 to TAPS.
"So, what TAPS does is it brings them together in a space where there are other kids just like them that are able to connect and share in a way that's really special," Hosford said.
Stall said he likes to see his son connecting with other kids.
"It's just really nice to meet people that are on the same path as we have been. At times, it's comforting," Stall said. "I think it will help us cope better."
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