Local charity slo-pitch tournament raises $5,000 for hospice, TSF
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Huron County Slo-Pitch League hosted a tournament at local baseball diamonds over the weekend and organizers expect it has raised approximately $5,000 for local charities.
The event, which was primarily held in Blyth, was such a success that organizers are looking at hosting two tournaments in Blyth next year, according to representative Steve Pilon.
Pilon, in an interview with The Citizen, said Blyth offered a unique opportunity with the Blyth Campground and baseball diamonds being so close together, so it seemed a good place to host the tournament which benefited the Tanner Steffler Foundation and Huron Hospice.
“The tournament went really well,” Pilon said. “Everyone played well and there were positive attitudes all weekend.”
He said that, aside from some minor injuries, the entire event went according to plan, save weather cancelling the live music scheduled for Saturday night.
“Everyone was giving us positive feedback,” Pilon said.
A number of people asked organizers to run the tournament again, Pilon said, which led to plans to host a tournament in the early summer of next year, then another later in the season.
“We’re planning on that,” he said. “People enjoyed the camping aspects and not having to drive to play ball.”
The tournament brought out 22 teams, Pilon said, and two teams from Windsor all camped together. There were between 30 and 40 campsites in use, he said. The campground was key to attracting the tournament to the area, he said.
“I don’t really know of any other ball diamond that has camping facilities right on site,” he said. “That’s what we were aiming for for the tournament.”
Pilon also said North Huron’s Recreation Marketing Assistant Denise Lockie was instrumental in getting the tournament going.
“She really helped us out along the way,” he said. “We weren’t quite sure how to get through the red tape that we had to, but she helped every step of the way.”
The organizers are lining up two more tournaments in the coming months.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, a memorial tournament for paramedic Brayden Berberich is scheduled in Seaforth, which is one of the last diamonds Berberich played on before he was killed in a car accident, Pilon said.
Pilon said there will be a number of teams comprised of local emergency medical service groups, as well as teams of Ontario Provincial Police officers and firefighters signed up for the tournament. Umpires who knew Berberich have also signed on for the tournament, and Berberich’s family will be there as well.
Pilon said that another fundraising tournament is set for Oct. 9, though the location hasn’t been set - it may be in Goderich or Seaforth. The tournament, called “Don’t Let Cancer Steal Second Base”, will be a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Society.
Watch The Citizen for more information about the tournaments.