By David Stenklyft for Wausau Pilot & Review

Players from 15 teams completed this weekend at the third annual “Kickin’ it for Kids” kickball tournament at Athletic Park in Wausau.

The tournament benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and was held in memory of Claire Hornby, a Wausau teen who was diagnosed in 2019 with intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare and inoperable brain tumor.

The triple elimination tournament held on three kickball diamonds at the park brought out friendly competition. Organizers Chandra Lynn and Brian Scott, on-air hosts of the WDEZ Morning Show, say visiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital can be a life-changing experience.

“When you get to the hospital you expect sadness, you see the parents who look very sad and you expect a pretty solemn visit. But the kids are incredible, they all are smiling and happy to see visitors, even though they suffer from various horrible diseases,” Scott said.

Lynn and Scott formed teams that competed against one another, while other teams were sponsored by local businesses and groups.

Participants received a thank you message from the mother of Claire Horby, who lost her battle with cancer last year.

Lynn’s team was named after Claire, “and also the other area kids who are being treated with St. Jude’s protocols.”

“We are really pleased with the turn out this year. We have more raffle items, more raffle tickets sold, and live music from Brad Emmanuel,” Lynn said.

As for the yearly grudge match between the two hosts, Lynn’s team won. But Scott joked that he was sure the contest was rigged.