Union City HS Dylan Williams Memorial Tournament keeps memory alive

Union City Dylan Williams Memorial Tournament (L-R) Erick Williams (father), Emma Blankley (family friend), Brianna Williams (sister), Georgiana Williams (mother). (Gaylen Blosser photo)

UNION CITY, Ind. – The Union City Community Schools held its ninth annual high school UC Dylan Williams Memorial Wood Bat and Fast Pitch Softball Tournament recently.

“We started this 10 years ago, but it’s the ninth annual because we got rained out one year,” said Union City Athletic Director Mike Thornburg. “It’s over four states so most of the schools in the area have benefitted from their generosity and hard work – our school has several.”

“A special thanks to Mr. Thornburg here at the school,” said Erick Williams (father). “He was the brains behind starting this many years ago, and we appreciate what the school has done to help us honor Dylan. They donate part of the proceeds back to the foundation so we can continue to donate AEDs and keep Dylan’s memory alive.”

Emma Blankley throws out first pitch at Union City Dylan Williams Memorial Tournament. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“It’s hard, but it’s great that Dylan’s name stays out there, brings awareness, and gets AEDs in the public,” Georgianna Willams (Dylan’s mother) stated. “We recently donated two AEDs to Vision Corner, the Learning Center in Union City.”

The Foundation (501c3), Dylan Williams Forever an All-Star, was established to help raise awareness towards CPR training and the placement of life-saving AEDs at youth sports fields.

The Foundation has donated 200 AEDs to date, and according to the American Heart Association, if an AED is available, a patient has a 90 percent chance at survival if used within the first minute of a cardiac arrest. The survival rate decreases by up to 10 percent each minute after that.

2024 Union City High School Dylan Williams Memorial Tournament. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

The AEDs given away over the years are now in four states, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina, and have made an impact.

“The last two AEDs were just placed at the new Vision Corner Learning Center uptown here in Union City,” said Thornburg. They are very special. The family does a lot for the community; they run the ball diamonds out here. The tragedy several years ago has turned into something very good.”