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Benefit will keep Matt’s memory alive PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Paynter   
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 20:41

Feb. 25 cornhole event to raise money for field to honor late GHS athlete

David and Jan Malkowski can’t think of a better way to keep their late son’s memory and passions alive or expand the love of baseball in Ozaukee County.

So they’re holding the first “Pitch for Matt Memorial Cornhole Tournament” from 1 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 at Circle B Recreation, 6261 Hwy. 60, Cedarburg. 

The Malkowskis hope to raise $50,000 by holding several annual cornhole tournaments and fundraisers during the next few years. 

They plan to use the money for a senior Little League field to be built and named in their son’s honor.

“Though we have not named the field yet, we are asking that you please consider helping make our dream for Matt a reality,” Jan Malkowski wrote on a Facebook events page devoted to the cornhole tournament.

Matt Malkowski, who was a senior at Grafton High School and a member of the Black Hawks baseball team, died from injuries sustained in a 2010 motor vehicle accident in Cedarburg. 

Malkowski had planned to play baseball and football at Concordia University in Chicago and enter the school’s firefighter/emergency medical technician program. He had served on the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department and wanted to work for the Chicago Fire Department after graduation.

“Matt did more in his short 18 years of life than some people do in an entire lifetime,” Mrs. Malkowski wrote. “We want to be sure that this community never forgets our beloved son.”

Mrs. Malkowski remembers her son as having a larger-than-life personality, infectious smile and friends of all ages.

“He was the first to lend a helping hand wherever it was needed,” she wrote.

Emily VanLangen, who serves on the “Pitch for Matt” committee and knew Malkowski, said her friend gave the best bear hugs in the world. 

“He was a very loving guy,” VanLangen said. “He always wanted to make sure everyone had a good time or that he made someone’s day. I miss him a lot.”

Mrs. Malkowski said there’s already plenty of buzz about the “Pitch for Matt” event on  her late son’s Facebook page.

“It’s the middle of winter, it’s cold and people are looking for something to do,” Mrs. Malkowski said. “So it’s the perfect time of the year to hold an event.”

VanLangen said she hopes the “Pitch for Matt” is a success and becomes an annual event.

“I think that it’s something that the community will help support whether they knew Matt or not,” VanLangen said.

The “Pitch for Matt” committee has sold 11 out of 16 tournament sponsor boards for the cornhole tournament to area businesses. 

For $100, companies can sponsor a set of tournament boards featuring their logo, contact information and a description of services available.

People who want to compete in the “Pitch for Matt” can register at 

The cost is $40 per team  before Feb. 24 or $50 per team on Feb. 25. Walk-ins are welcome.

Make checks payable to “Prayers For Matt” and mail to Jan Malkowski, 452 Settlement Circle, Grafton, WI 53024.

Participants in the “Pitch for Matt” must sign in before 12:30 p.m. The event starts at 1 p.m. There will also be a double elimination format with a possible “last chance” bracket. Payouts will be $150 for first place, $100 for second place, $50 for third place and $50 for fourth place or last chance. 

The “Pitch for Matt” will also feature a silent auction, raffles, food and beverages.

Donations will also be accepted from those who are unable to attend the event or who attend but don’t participate in the cornhole tournament.

People with questions should text or call Jan Malkowski at (262) 617-1604 or Emily VanLangen at (262) 353-1103.

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