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Men's slo-pitch fundraiser a success

The tournament saw plenty of action from mixed teams.
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A player on the Random team connects with a pitch in a game against the Tropics on July 24 at Meadowview Diamond. PRESTON HODGKINSON/St. Albert Gazette

The sun shined on another weekend of play at Meadowview Diamonds, this time for a mixed fundraising tournament for the St. Albert Men’s Slo-Pitch Association.

The tournament saw 14 teams come together to compete for cash prizes.

This was the association's first event of its kind. Lynda Holden, league operations co-ordinator for men's slo-pitch, said the motivation to create the event stemmed from financial concerns caused by the pandemic.

“Last year we weren’t allowed to have any ball and so we needed to generate some funds,” said Holden. “We decided this year that we will do a couple of mixed and men’s tournaments to try to generate some fundraising revenue.”

This was one of two mixed tournaments on the schedule this summer. The association's goal is to raise $5,000 from each event to help pay off costs associated with league operations and field maintenance.

On top of that goal, the association has already raised a substantial amount of money from league members. Holden said the response from members has been amazing so far.

“We also did a COVID-19 fundraising campaign that generated $20,000,” said Holden. “The league members themselves stepped up big-time for that. With the tournaments, we want to do two things, which is to generate great community fun and involvement, and we wanted to provide mixed teams the opportunity to play at these diamonds.”

It was a departure to see mixed teams take to the field. The slo-pitch association is a men’s league and mixed teams are not usually permitted. However, with more women playing, the group decided to jump at the opportunity to involve as many people as possible.

“The only other opportunity for mixed teams is when we have other tournaments like the breast cancer tournament,” said Holden. “We wanted to offer our own event through SAMSPA.

“It is nice for us to actually be offering up tournaments ourselves to the community as a whole.”

Outside support for the tournament has also been exceptional. Holden said the community banded together to ensure every team left with something, no matter where they placed.

“We’ve had really good support from the community,” said Holden. “We even got Axe Monkeys [an axe-throwing entertainment company] to come out for people to have the chance to do something different from slo-pitch.”

In the end, three teams came out on top in their respective brackets. In the A bracket, Showtime came out victorious in the final game against Bunch of Jerks, while in the B bracket, Out For a Rip beat out Random for top spot. Lastly, in the C bracket, the Titans defeated Out of Maintenance in the championship game.