MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Among the many qualities family and friends say that Riley Torbett exhibited every day, the list is topped by a love for God, helping others, and baseball.
Two months after the Marianna baseball star was killed in an ATV accident just days before graduation, the community continues to honor Riley and support the causes he held dear.
Saturday morning. kids and adults of all ages gather for a home run derby hosted by the Miss Northwest Florida Queens and Alyson James, a long-time classmate and friend.
Proceeds benefit the mission organization Project H.O.P.E. The Torbett family visits Nicaragua every year to serve with Project H.O.P.E. and Riley was scheduled to leave June 4th for a two month internship assisting at Nicaraguan preschools.
Using money earned at the gate, Project H.O.P.E. plans to build a school named after Riley.
At 25 dollars per dozens of participants and five dollars per spectator, plenty funds were raised along with plenty of laughs.
"After a few weeks, I knew I needed to do something to honor him," event organizer and peer Alyson James said. "I was on Pinterest and I saw a flyer for a home run derby and it made me think of it. I actually only had like 10 people, and then Ms. Dana [Riley's mother] actually texted me and told me 'God's got this, don't worry about it.' Then all of a sudden I had 30 people, and 40 people, and it has just kind of blown up."
From the money raised for his favorite group, to the delight of friends playing his favorite game, it's exactly what Riley would have wanted.
"He always would tell us, he'd say 'I hate baseball. I hate baseball!' But we always knew that he loved it more than anything in the whole world," Marianna teammate Hunter Mitchell said. "He would be so happy to see that we're doing stuff like this for the community, for one of his most favorite things, the Nicaraguan mission. I went a couple of years ago and it honestly changed my life. It was astonishing and I hope people can follow in his footsteps and do that kind of work."
Riley's father is trying to do just that.
Rex Torbett runs The Riley Project, a faith-building imitative meeting every other Sunday at Evangel Worship Center in Marianna. Through their faith and the community, the entire family is feeling the love.
"Since May 22, which was Riley's death, we've cooked two meals in my house," Rex Torbett said. "I think we have another week of meals coming to our family. Just the outpouring of support for us for anything we're doing...God is doing so many amazing things."
Donations can be made to Project H.O.P.E. by following their website, http://pjhope.org/.