SIDNEY – Tom Watkins, the son of one of the Sidney IUTIS Club founders, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday evening as the service organization opened its 74th consecutive season of boys youth softball at Harmon Field.
Watkins is the son of Cecil Watkins, who founded the Sidney IUTIS Club 90 years ago along with Ernest Shively and Milo Taylor.
The Sidney IUTIS Club has led many community service and outreach programs throughout its 90 year history. Today it primarily focuses on its softball league and a scholarship program for its players.
The softball league usually includes approximately 250 boys each year. The boys, ages 5 to 17, are mostly from Sidney with some from other Shelby County communities.
Participation is down this year with approximately 160 boys playing IUTIS softball. At its peak, the league had about 600 participants a year.
The softball league aims to get boys active while promoting teamwork and sportsmanship.
Also as part of Monday’s ceremonies, Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst presented IUTIS President Carl Lynch with a proclamation honoring IUTIS’s 90th year of operation.
For more information about the Sidney IUTIS Club, visit its IUTIS SOFTBALL PAST & PRESENT page on Facebook.