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Ponoka Lions Memorial Slo-pitch Fundraiser coming up

(File photo)

With several teams already signed on, the Ponoka Lions Memorial Slo-Pitch Fundraiser is set to run July 12-14.

The event runs at the Riverside Sports Complex.

There will also be limited camping, a beer garden, food trucks, a silent auction, a raffle, NSA umpires on Sunday, and cash prizes, said Lions member Gay Taylor, who coordinates the tournament with her husband Rob.

The couple has been helping to organize the event for several years now. They also work along with club president Don Bergsma, and other club members to make it all run smoothly.

"We've got teams coming from Edson, Drayton Valley, Rimbey, Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton, and Red Deer coming," she said. 

"A lot of the local businesses also donate, and we have a silent auction running, too. Anyone can come and bid on those things as well. That goes until Sunday at noon, and then we close it off. It helps us raise more funds (to support) various things.

"We use the funds for various things in the community," said Gay. "We give scholarships and bursaries to the Ponoka Composite High School, so twice a year we donate money there."

The Lions Club is also a strong supporter of helping to provide guide dogs in Canada. Each spring, the local club hosts a fundraising walk, with this year's event bringing in more than $5,000.

Funds raised also go to local projects like the new flagpoles in Centennial Park, she said, adding that the slo-pitch tournament typically brings in about $6,000.

"We have 15 teams so far, and I'm hoping to get one more to get it even," she said.

The last few years have seen around a dozen teams sign up, so she is pleased to see the uptick in numbers.

Meanwhile, the term 'memorial' is added to the event's title as a way to honour late club members, she said. 

"It used to be the Stan Baliant Memorial Tournament, as Stan was a Lions member, and his wife ran the tournament," she said.

"We decided to change it to a memorial tournament for him and for all Lions members who had passed."

Of course, it's always fun to have members of the community come out and take in the tournament, she said.

"You see that when you come to the tournament, because people come back year after year. You get to know them, and it's awesome! I love it."

To further spread the spirit of community, Ponoka Broncs teams have also been invited to help out at the tournament, and, in turn, the Lions will donate cans and bottles from the event to the Broncs' bottle drive in August.

"They are always willing to help us out."

Gay said that in general, belonging to the Lions is a terrific means of giving back to the community, and that events like the tournament help to raise the profile of the club.

"We are always looking for members," she said.

"You have that sense of helping out the community, and just being involved."

For further information about signing up for the tournament, call Gay at 403-704-4124 or Rob at 403-704-4217.




Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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