DOWNERS GROVE – Evan Melau had dreams of one day becoming a professional baseball player.
All he wanted to do was get better, go to college and play baseball.
It was the No. 1 love of the little guy who wore No. 5.
This week, his friends and the youth baseball community will come together to do what he loved best and raise funds for a good cause in his memory.
The EM5 Fly High Tournament in memory of Evan Melau will be Aug. 13-16 at the Westmont Park District, 55 E. Richmond St.
Six teams and a lot of guys Melau knew will take part in the four-day round-robin event. Melau, who would have been a sophomore at Downers Grove South High School this fall, was struck by a car and killed in June.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to honor him, doing something that he loved since he was 7 years old,” said Jamie Melau, Evan’s mom. “This is for him, and it’s also for his friends.”
One of the teams at the tournament will be RakeCity. Melau played for the RakeCity program. Jared Koutnik, one of the coaches who trained Melau with RakeCity, set up a GoFundMe page in Melau’s memory shortly after his death. The fund has raised more than $11,000.
Koutnik has talked to Melau’s parents about setting up a scholarship for incoming freshmen who can’t afford to play travel baseball. The Melau family also has discussed setting up a foundation to fund an annual baseball tournament and is exploring the possibility of creating a ball field in Downers Grove in Melau’s name.
Melau grew up in Westmont and spent his youth playing baseball on the field across from the field where the tournament will take place.
“We couldn’t get a tournament in Downers Grove, but this was the next best thing,” Jamie Melau said.
The Melau family thanks everyone for their time, donations and sponsorships, including DCH Mobile Services, Holy Cow Sports, Bombshell Creations, JDHT Apparel, Trophies by George, Destination Athlete, RakeCity, Sparks North, DuPage Hounds, Easton Baseball, Lisle Wolves and MiniJerzeys.