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After tragedy, friends unite in softball tourney to raise money for widow, child
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Sean Truesdale pitches to Josh Rex during one of the games at the softball tournament held Sept. 4 to raise funds for Buck and Cindy Chapman’s unborn child. - photo by Tom Reed

When asked to describe William Buchanan Chapman in a few words, his brother-in-law, Anthony Vargas calls him "the best hero ever" without hesitation.

"He was a good role model and an amazing friend," Vargas said. "He taught me how to have patience and to not give up."

William Buchanan, commonly known as "Buck" by his friends and family, was killed in a motorcycle accident on June 15 while on his way to work. The 23-year-old left behind his wife, Cindy Chapman, who is pregnant with his son, Channing Chapman, due in December.

On Sept. 4, a softball tournament in honor of Buck Chapman was held at Rock Creek Park in Dawsonville. Concessions were sold, with all proceeds going to a fund for the Chapmans' child.

The idea for the softball tournament came from friends Cody Nguyen and Chuck Tate.

"We started a softball league for church and when this happened to Buck, we thought this would be a great opportunity for a benefit to raise some money for Cindy and her baby," Tate said.

"Buck was really quiet, but he had the biggest heart," Tate said. "He would do anything for anyone, and you didn't even have to ask him to do things; he would just do them for you."

Cindy Chapman said that a lot of the guys playing in the tournament have known Buck for years, so it was a way for them to show their love for him in action.

"I feel like Cody and Chuck got to do what God wanted them to do," Cindy Chapman said. "They don't realize what a blessing it was just to be there."

Cindy Chapman said that for a little while after her husband's death, she started to feel like no one cared and everyone was getting on with their lives.

"Knowing that people care and love and support the baby and me makes me feel a whole lot better," she said. "When people do things like this it makes me realize that they really do care, and I know I'm really not alone."

Cindy Chapman said that everyone who came to the tournament to watch the games helped out and showed their love for Buck, and that he would be proud.

"I hope that as Channing gets older, people will continue to show him this love and support; I hope that everyone will share stories with Channing about his father," said Cindy Chapman, who remembers baseball as the only sport that Buck ever enjoyed watching.

"He said that our son was going to be a baseball player and become a professional and make a lot of money," she said with a laugh.

Nan Chapman, Buck's mother, said when he played baseball as a child, his father liked to watch him play.

Cindy Chapman was especially proud of Anthony Vargas for playing in the tournament. "He got to honor his brother," she said. "I know he has had a hard time with Buck being gone, but he is a lot like Buck - he won't say much or complain about anything."

Vargas said that he used to play catch with Buck, and that he will definitely play ball with Channing when he is old enough.

"I will try and be a good role model to him just like Buck was for me," he said.

 

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