Rita Frakes has influenced many lives in her time as a teacher and coach. Frakes is currently the head softball coach at Andover Central and recently led her team to the 4A-D1 state softball tournament in Salina in May. A few months ago, Rita was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and has undergone tests, scans, and procedures. She will begin four months of chemo at the end of July with a four-week break, and then six weeks of radiation five days a week, followed by two more surgeries.

Current and former players have shown their support by encouraging Rita. Two of her friends, Kristi Love and Jackie McColpin decided to organize a women’s softball tournament in order to help raise money for Rita’s treatments. Kristi is a former student and athlete who played at Clearwater while Rita was the head coach there. Kristi was also an assistant coach at Andover Central for two season.

“We were throwing around a bunch of ideas. Between Susan Eckel, me, and Jacki McColpin, we decided to throw a softball tournament,” said Kristi McColpin. “It was a way to allow the kids she’s coached in Clearwater and now here in Andover to be involved and do something for her. There’s a lot of people that want to help her in the way that she helped and impacted them throughout the years.”

The softball tournament will be held Saturday, July 29 at the Andover Central High School softball fields at 603 E Central Ave. in Andover. The double elimination tournament will begin at 8 AM, and the entry fee is $250.00 per team. The deadline for entry is July 25. A home run derby will also be held for men and women and costs $5 for 10 balls. All proceeds go directly to Rita and her battle against breast cancer.

For more information call 316-259-8186.