Battle for the Cure – Softball’s Best
THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – When it comes to fundraising, creativity can be a home run. Over the past three years, a dedicated Bearskin Airlines Hope Classic Curling Bonspiel team has organized charity softball tournaments to help raise money for the annual February curling and fundraising event.
The softball tournament is called ‘Batting for the Cure’ and features both women’s and men’s tournaments. Eleven women’s teams and eleven men’s teams competed for the top spot on both sides. Tricia Sampson, lead organizer of the event, jumped at the opportunity to take over the already existing annual tournament to help raise money for a good cause.
“When the opportunity came up for new organizers to take over, I thought it was a good idea to use it to run a charity tournament to help raise money for the Linda Buchan Centre at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Everybody is touched by cancer, so it just made sense.”
In total, there are two tournaments held each year – one at the end of May and one at the end of September. “Not only does it raise money for a good cause but, for a city that loves softball, the tournaments are a great season opener and closer,” added Sampson.
“Each tournament is an exciting three days with good, friendly competition and a lot of fun.”
In particular, the chance to play on all women’s and men’s teams is a rare opportunity for local softball players who play in co-ed leagues, so it helps to boost the tournament’s popularity. This year three teams registered from out of town, including players from: Fort Frances, Sioux Lookout, Upsala and Dryden.
Knowing that the Hope Classic has raised more than $2.4 million since 1997, Sampson says the efforts that her and her team put into running these tournaments is well worth it. “Overall, it’s just a fun tournament that raises money for local cancer care. We are happy to be part of it and to help contribute to our community.”
Cancer Care Ontario, the provincial body governing cancer screening, recommends that women, ages 50 to 74 years of age, have a breast cancer screening mammogram every two years. Mammography is the best way to detect breast cancer. Women in Thunder Bay can book their breast screening appointment at the Linda Buchan Centre, Thunder Bay Medical Centre, or on the Screen for Life Coach by calling: 1-800-461-7031.