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Seattle to host largest Gay Softball World Series this August
Seattle to host largest Gay Softball World Series this August
Seattle will host the largest amateur Gay sporting event of the year, the 2008 North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) and the Amateur Sports Association of North America (ASANA) World Series of Softball for both men and women. More than 200 teams from across the US and Canada will converge on the Emerald City to compete in this highly competitive athletic event.

The World Series softball competition will begin on Tuesday, August 26 and will end with the championship games on Saturday, August 30, 2008. Pre-activities will begin on Friday, August 22 and NAGAAA and ASANA will hold their Summer Meetings in Seattle on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24.

The World Series event will attract more than 5,000 athletes, coaches, managers, and fans to the Seattle area. "We're pleased to be the host city this year and softball fans and the general public will have the opportunity to watch some of the most talented softball players in the country," said Frank Pichinini, executive director of the Series 2008 Host Committee. "It's the Super Bowl of the LGBT athletic community and we invite everyone to attend the events and volunteer to be part of sports history in our city."

Seattle needs about 250 volunteers for the event and all volunteers will have the opportunity to meet men and women throughout the country, make new friends or form potential relationships with others. Volunteers will be needed to register players, deliver goods to the dugouts, hospitality at fields and events, operations and overall logistical support among other things. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the event's volunteer director at volunteer@series2008.org.

The Emerald City Softball Association is the local Seattle softball league and is a member city to both the NAGAAA Open Division and the ASANA Women's Division. The Seattle teams in the Emerald City Softball Association will be competing for the chance to play in the World Series during their 2008 league season. The local Open Division will have seven or eight berths and the Women's Division will have seven berths. There might be up to 15 Seattle teams vying for World Series Championships in eight divisions of play. To get more information on the Emerald City Softball Association go to their website: http://emeraldcitysoftball.org/.

In addition to the World Series competition, there will be numerous events leading up and during the days of competition that the public can attend. Some of the events include the following:

o Northern Exposure Events to benefit the Lambert House Friday, August 22 through Sunday, August 24

o Opening Ceremonies at the Mural Amphitheater at the Seattle Center, Monday, August 25.

o Talent Show, Wednesday August 27

o Street Party at R Place on Friday, August 29

o Street Party at Purr on Saturday, August 30 after Closing Ceremonies

o Mariners Night on Tuesday August 26

o Closing Ceremonies and Championship Games on Saturday August 30 at Russell Rd Softball Complex

Dug Wehage, the Series 2008 host committees' event director, is still in the process of scheduling other events throughout the week so periodically check out the series2008.org website to get the latest information on events for Series 2008.

As the host city, Seattle has to raise about $90,000 for the event. The majority of the expense is related to the Opening and Closing ceremonies which are similar to those held at the Olympics and Gay Games. The host city provides a meal to all softball participants at the Closing Ceremonies. Sponsors are needed to help cover these expenses.

Sponsors have the opportunity to showcase their companies, products and or services and will reach an international audience of over 5000 attendees. Methods of sponsorship exposure include ad space in programs, newsletters, signage and specific outreach targeting attendees at the games and throughout the city. Additionally, all sponsors are listed on the Series2008.org web site that gives them exposure throughout the world. Individuals are also encouraged to become partners with Series 2008 by purchasing Gem Club Memberships. Information on Sponsorships levels and Gem Club levels can be found on Series 2008 website at: www.series2008.org.

The Series 2008 Host Committee also is selling a cookbook to help raise funds for the 2008 World Series. The cookbook is called Home Plate and is 250 pages of favorite recipes of players of the Emerald City Softball Association. It also features pictures of ECSA softball players in their kitchens. special sections on how to bartend at a party, how to select and "taste" wine, party etiquette and table settings. You can purchase the cookbook online at the Series 2008 website: http://series2008.org/shop.cfm

NAGAAA (Open Division) and ASANA (Women's Division), the organizations that govern the World Series, will be holding their annual winter meetings in Seattle on February 2 and 3. More than 100 delegates from across the U.S. and Canada will start arriving in Seattle on Friday February 1 for the Winter Meetings. During the Winter Meetings four cities will be bidding for the right to host the 2009 World Series. Chicago and Milwaukee are bidding to host the 2009 NAGAAA Open Division Gay Softball World Series and Philadelphia and Madison at bidding to host the ASANA Women's Division Softball World Series. 2009 will be the first time since the Open Division and the Women's Division had softball World Series events that they weren't held in the same city.

A fundraising Super Bowl Party is scheduled in conjunction with the Winter Meetings on Sunday, February 3 at R Place. The Super Bowl Party will begin at 2 pm. All proceeds from the sale of R Place famous chili beer dogs will be donated to the World Series. The chili dogs have been donated by R Place to the league for them to sell during the Super Bowl. The general public is invited to attend. The Super Bowl party fundraiser will give the community the opportunity to meet city delegates and others involved in the event including the general public.

An Emerald City Softball Association press release. If you would like to learn more about the softball World Series in Seattle, please go to www.series2008.org.

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