COLORADO SPRINGS — Up until Friday morning, Family Night after the Rocky Mountain Vibes baseball game Friday night was a go.
The independent baseball team of the Pioneer League told FOX21 the performance by Matt Hammitt would hinder their mission to provide fun family entertainment while Save the Storks, said they were left confused, adding they are a family first organization.
About four months ago, The Vibes invited Save the Storks, Pikes Peak Citizens for Life and other organizations to sponsor their Family Night.
“They wanted us to just celebrate Family Night,” said Diane Ferraro, CEO of Save the Storks. “So, we had been asked to have Matt Hammitt and his son Bowen and sing after the fireworks show. So, it was just going to be a really beautiful, fun night.”
In their statement to FOX21, Rocky Mountain Vibes said in part:
“The Vibes made this decision after seeing the proposed assets from the partner in question because they felt that the partner would hinder the team’s mission in providing fun and affordable family entertainment.”
But, Ferraro said the announcement seemed sudden.
“We were cooperating every step of the way and we had no hint that there was any question on what we were doing,” she said. “It was the day of the baseball game at 10:35 in the morning that our development director received a phone call from someone in the executive office at The Vibes and said they were pulling the plug.”
She said Christian singer Matt Hammitt was ready to come to Colorado Springs with his two sons Bowen and Lewis.
“The thing that Bowen and I do together is we share his story,” Hammitt said. “He went through an extremely difficult, life threatening heart disease that he still lives with called Hypoplastic Left Heart. And we just were scared during our pregnancy. And even after we went through multiple open heart surgeries about what life would look like with him.”
Now, Bowen sings and writes his own music at twelve years old.
“We were at the airport and getting ready to board,” Hammitt said, adding he had his two sons Bowen and Lewis with him.
“It’s an awesome celebration to get to have him come sing and just see what is happening with his life and his music and his voice,” he said. “And we just love sharing that. And we were really excited to show up at The Vibes game.”
Just before they boarded, they got word family night was canceled.
“There was definitely a lot of tears, a lot of disappointment, you know, explaining to the kids that we had to turn around and go home and that’s okay. Sometimes those lessons are good.”
At the time, Ferraro said they weren’t given a reason for the cancellation.
“We were told at the time that sponsors had asked [The Vibes] to cancel the event.”
In a statement later, the baseball team said it was solely their decision to cancel.
“The Vibes made this decision internally and stand by their choice,” they said in their statement.
As to why, the organization said:
“While we value all our sponsors and ticket holders, they do not make decisions regarding the nature of our post-game entertainment, or groups that come out to our stadium to raise awareness for their causes.”
Hammitt said Save the Storks is not one of those groups.
“There’s no picketing, there’s no protesting,” he said. “We’re not focusing on what other people are doing. They’re simply focusing on supporting moms who find themselves in a really hard pregnancy or an unplanned pregnancy, who have a desire to choose life but don’t feel empowered to do that.”
Hammitt said there is a documentary out on Bowen’s story called Bowen’s Heart.
The YouTube video shown in the segment can be found here.