The annual spring slo-pitch tournament put together by Tamara Lawrence will be held on the weekend of March 30, and will raise funds for upgrades to the Eckville ball diamonds. Lawrence also holds a tournament in the fall, with the proceeds going towards breast cancer research. File photo

Eckville snow-pitch tournament to raise money for ball diamond upgrades

The annual spring slo-pitch tournament in Eckville will occur a little earlier than usual

Spring is creeping its way ever closer, and that means it is nearly time for another slo-pitch tournament.

Every spring Tamara Lawrence holds a slo-pitch tournament for charity. She says she tries to keep the proceeds going towards a charity or need within the Eckville community.

For the last two years the spring tournament raised more than $9,000 for the Eckville Fundraising Society to help build a new playgound at the elementary school.

This year she plans to donate the proceeds from the tournament to upgrades for the ball diamonds.

“There are several upgrades that are needed for the ball diamonds, and that is something that I didn’t know until I started looking into it,” Lawrence said.

The goal for this year’s tournament will be to raise enough to completely change out the chain-link fencing around the arena ball diamonds.

Lawrence says that goal is $4,000.

“If we raise $4,000 that is enough to completely re-do the fencing,” she said.

She says the goal is for the chain-link fence, but any money raised above and beyond that total will be put towards any other upgrades that is needed.

“The upgrades will benefit both the minor ball association and the new slo-pitch group,” Lawrence said, adding she had originally planned to donate to the new club but monetary support was not required.

The event will also look a little different from years past, with a new theme and a new date.

The tournament will be held over the weekend of March 30, with the number of teams dictating how many days the event will run.

The possibility of snow sticking around for the tournament is a real possibility, but Lawrence says it will make it a fun spin on the usual.

“It’ll be more of a snow-pitch, which I think will be really fun… Instead of watching the ball fly on it’ll just suddenly drop.”

She said the date was chosen because she wanted to hold the tournament before the ball season got underway.

When playing slo-pitch special mats are required so as not to wreck the field for the minor ball players. By holding the tournament early, the fields won’t be wrecked and next year the slo-pitch club will have mats they should be able to use.

“This year’s theme will be Team Canada, and everyone will be wearing red and white, or something very Canadian.”

Sticking to the Canadian theme, Lawrence will also be having bonfires with hot dog and marshmallow roasts over the weekend.

“It should be a fun time… Those who aren’t interested in playing are welcome to come watch, and purchase a hot dog and s’more,” said Lawrence.

There will also be raffle prizes available.

The hope is to have eight teams participate in the tournament, there are already four signed up.

Those with a slo-pitch team are welcome to sign their team up, or create a team with friends and family.

Registration is open until March 25, and the cost is $250 per team. Each team is required to have a minimum of 10 players.

For more information or to register, call Lawrence at 403-373-1209.

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