Dick Sanford, son of Mimi and the late George Sanford, is an American Legion baseball coach in West Hartford, Conn. In April of 2015, Bill Lee, former Red Sox pitcher in the ‘60s and ‘70s, came to speak in West Hartford. During his remarks, he mentioned the Canada/Cuba goodwill tour. That was all Dick needed to hear. He immediately began planning for an American tour.

A year later he took 18 players, their parents, and a Fox news team to Cuba to play baseball. They were joined by a team from Canada. Over eight days they played four games in different towns in rural Cuba. “Most of the Cuban kids had never met an American. We also brought with us 1,800 pounds of baseball equipment and school supplies to donate to our hosts from money we raised from West Hartford families and businesses. We were literally treated like rock stars in Cuba,” Dick said.

This July a Cuban team came to play six games with teams in the West Hartford area. The Cuban and American teams were introduced at Fenway Park before the start of a Red Sox/Tampa Rays game. The Cuban team also played a game at the famous Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y., where baseball originated. All expenses for the Cuban team were paid for by money Dick raised from the same families and businesses in West Hartford.

“We take so much for granted,” he said. “This was the first time any of the Cuban kids had been to a McDonalds. We took them to an office building, and they rode an elevator for the first time. It was very touching.”

Dick is planning to return to Cuba in 2017 with another baseball team. Our next President would do well to ask him to remain in the country and become the new ambassador.

For August parents with young children looking for something to do, Friends of Sengekontacket sponsors Saturdays on Senge. Friends of Sengekontacket is an organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of Sengekontacket Pond and its barrier beach. Each Saturday in August from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. the organization conducts a nature excursion on the pond led by a Farm Neck wildlife naturalist. Topics in the past have included mollusks, birds, and shells. Children ages four and up are encouraged to attend with the only requirement that a parent is with them. There is no charge for the excursion. If interested, plan to be at Little Bridge in Oak Bluffs at 9:30 a.m.

Finally, on a very sad note, the East Chop community recently lost Eve Switzer. Eve died in Falmouth after a brief illness. She was 90. She attended Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. She volunteered for several community healthcare organizations and was a member of the Westchester Wicks Curling Club, which won the women’s national championship. While on the Vineyard, Eve was an avid beachgoer, reader, gourmet cook, and loving Mom to her four sons David, Steven, Peter, and Matt. She is also survived by her partner Bruce Thomas, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. We will miss her!

Send East Chop news to herricklr@verizon.net.