For over two decades, the Fund’s signature fundraising event has been its annual softball tournament, which is staged in partnership with the Recreation and Park Department. Played against a backdrop of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, the tournament is always lively. Two dozen teams, including supportive community organizations, but largely drawn from city government departments, will be competing in a one-day, double-elimination tournament at Moscone Field in the Marina. The tournament attracts over 500 players, plus their families.
The games range from close to blowouts, sometimes pitting police officers against teams of social workers and librarians, but the spirit of the day is fun and fellowship, with players knowing that the tournament supports the city’s most vulnerable children. Families and friends of players come to picnic, barbecue, and cheer their teams, and through the day the tournament has activities for children. Raffle tickets, offering quality prizes donated by sponsors, are sold, and the drawing winners are announced between games.
In 2014 the Fund permanently changed the name of the tournament to honor the work of Mae Louise Mays. She was an adoptions worker for the city during the 1960s and early 70s, and a pioneer in recruiting African American families to adopt African American children from foster care. Social workers today build on her work. Ms. Mays also has a unique connection, having married the greatest baseball player ever, one who had a similar commitment to helping children, Willie Mays.
Mae Louise Mays.