Note from the President - Audie Hollis
Greetings! My name is Audie Hollis and I am president of the Florida Senior Sports Association. For those of you in Rio Linda, that means it is my job to keep the web page current and the association focused on charitable endeavors.
The purpose of our web page is many fold:
1) to provide information about senior sport activities (with a softball bias)
2) to provide avenues for travel for like-minded seniors.
3) to provide information on various products that we find to be useful or helpful in enriching our lives.
4) to provide a charitable giving mechanism with a sports slant.
The past couple of years have been busy for me personally and for our association as a whole. The FSSA started the Legends Hall of Fame in 2012 and inducted 9 players into the shrine. We then followed this in 2013 by inducting another 9 players. All of these players are legends of the game and the induction ceremonies in Las Vegas have been exceptionally well attended.
We also created the Ray Odom Humanitarian Award and inducted the first recipient, Mr. Roger Tabor in 2013, for his numerous charitable works. This is a very special award and only one individual is chosen each year.
In June 2013 the FSSA put together a trip to Santiago, Dominican Republic for the Goodwill Games. A group of approximately 25 players and friends traveled to Villa Gonzalez, a small town near Santiago, and played three local teams. However, the highlight of the trip was the charitable giving that we were able to accomplish. I know many lives in the Dominican were changed by our organization and all of the travelers felt it was a special time as we enriched the lives of many that have so little. The FSSA was proud but humbled to provide a number of good works for what we found were very thankful local residents:
1) We funded and built a community pressurized water system for the village of El Limon which had 293 residents who had no water in the village at all. All water was hand brought from a small mountain spring a half mile away and carried to the village. Now, all of the residents are serviced by a central system. Many thanks for large donations by Mark Wadsworth, Audie Hollis, Ed Rose, Roger Tabor, Dave Reed as well as many others.
2) The travelers provided food baskets to 30 households. 3) The FSSA provided over 4,000 sporting good items such as bats, balls, gloves, shoes, etc. for several of the surrounding villages. This was a special time seeing the joy the equipment brought as the local kids sang and performed for us.
4) We provided a full two year scholarship for a 15 year old Dominican boy to attend Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Florida. This scholarship includes room and board and we think this gift will not only change this young man’s life but will have an impact on his entire village. A special thanks to Ed and Cheryl Rose for their giving in this area.
Another highlight of the trip was an open air church service we had up in the village. Judy Reed led the singing and Christine Lee was jamming on the piano. A number of the players had an opportunity to express how God has moved in their lives and how helping others had impacted them! It was a very powerful service and for most of us this was the first time we had been in a “third world” country. Man, I am so thankful to live in America!
The very name of our not-for-profit organization indicates that most of our concern and coverage will be in the state of Florida. However, as we expand we look for this to grow geographically into the rest of the country and then finally the world. Yes, yes, I know, big plans but even Niagara Falls had to start with the first drop of water. Our first trip to the Dominican in 2013 was followed up with another trip in June 2014 to Nagua, which is on a different side of the island. We were able to win three games this time and brought thousands of sporting good items to several local villages. Our group was met by the mayor, a majorette and drum corps, native dancers and numerous little league teams. We had a wonderful time in Nagua and several “Legends” accompanied us on the trip!
The Hollis Appraisal team traveled to Detroit, Michigan with the FSSA to participate in a fund raiser for the Boys and Girls Club in the Ferndale area. The event raised over $20,000 for the charity and our 60 and over team beat the local police team, the best young guys (flat belly boys) team and played a celebrity game with several local TV personalities as well as Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Lions.
I’m excited for what we have been able to accomplish in a short period of time and want to thank the many players and people who have participated with us and donated to the cause. I think the coming years will bring more excitement and hopefully more good publicity as we are currently filming a documentary that the FSSA is involved in through our association with the Hollis Appraisals softball team. This team won the 60 Major Plus World Championships in 2012 and 2013 and is the group of players we travel with in our endeavors. However, we will always invite any of the “Legends” to travel and play with us as well.
Now, I would like to tell you a little bit about me and the bundle of cloth that I was cut from. I was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1952 and have been a life long resident. I grew up in a blue collar family with my dad working for the city as a cable splicer and my mom being a housewife. I have 5 other brothers and sisters and was the first person in my family to graduate from college. When I graduated from the University of North Florida in 1974 I was already married and working full time as a real estate appraiser, so I hit the ground running as a young man!
My wife and I eventually had six children with the oldest now 37 and the youngest 24. I also have 12 grand children so the point here is I have been through a number of kid related wars. I just about can’t be surprised by what kids will do as my trials and tribulations have helped me become a lot less judgmental of others and a much better listener! Thankfully, all of the family is doing well and we have some real good male and female ball players coming up!
I have been the owner of Hollis Appraisals, Inc. for over 35 years and have been an active real estate investor. I played softball in my 20’s but retired at 30 to help raise, coach and educate my six children. I came out of sports retirement at 49 to play softball with two of my sons, two of my brothers and five of their sons. We had an entire 10 man team of Hollis’ and won the local associations championship. I cherish the photos of that group as each game was like a family reunion with parents, cousins, in-laws all coming to watch us play.
The following year I discovered senior softball and have been involved for the past twelve years as a player and sponsor. We have won the Florida Half Century state tournament seven of the last eight years and numerous national tournaments including the Tournament of Champions six times. We won the World Championships in Las Vegas in 2012 and 2013 and hope to three-peat in 2014.
I have traveled to Hawaii five times with the FSSA to play and promote softball and have developed friendships with numerous players throughout the United States. Now I have friends in the Dominican Republic and softball has allowed me to play in 16 states within our great country. I hope to add many more in the coming years.
Ed Rose, the director of the corporation asked me to serve in this capacity and due to the purpose and goals of the organization I thought this would be a noble endeavor.
Therefore, expect me to chime in about the “state of affairs” whether it’s sports related, political or business as my purpose will be to raise awareness and to provoke thought and maybe even garner a response from you. Hey, I’m a big boy and I can take disagreement as long as it is in a civil manner. A friend once told me, “When you point that boney finger at me, remember there are three pointing back at you.”
I hope to hear from you through our web page and if there are any softball or sports related concerns or questions send them my way and we will explore answers and solutions together.
About the FSSA
There is no charge for membership
Founded in 2000, the Florida Senior Sports Association (FSSA) is a federally approved non profit, volunteer driven organization based in Melbourne, Florida. Contributions are eligible for tax deductions based on current tax laws. There is no charge for membership into the FSSA and all services are free to our members. More about us.
The FSSA will continue to offer special value softball tours, in addition to providing links to other organizations that offer our members value added products or services.
Legends Hall of Fame
Active Major Plus Senior Softball Players
The FSSA sponsors the Legends Hall of Famewhichis comprised of the best Major Plus Senior softball players in the USA. Criteria to be accepted includes applicants must be at least 60 years old, actively playing at the regional and national levels, and a current member of the USSA, ASA, NSS, or Heartland Hall of Fames.
Extra Innings Documentary
Follow a Major Senior Softball team on a quest
The Baby Boomers of today are a new breed of "old guys" who are not ready for retirement or the rocking chair. The Extra Innings Documentary film is about a group of senior softball players coming together to chase a dream of winning the World Masters Championship, the highest level of competition, in Las Vegas, Nevada this fall.
The film crew has followed the team to the Dominican Republic and Detroit, Michigan charity events and has great footage to share with us.