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Lori Craven Memorial celebrates 21 years

By August 26, 2022No Comments
Brandon Cote reacts as his beloved locks are shaved off during the 21 annual Lori Craven Memorial Tournament, held at Driven Energy Legion Ball Park on Sunday. Cote’s buzz cut was auctioned off $2,000. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

The sun was shining bright all weekend for those trying to knock baseballs out of the park for a good cause. But, it doesn’t matter how many homers you hit because the real winners here are members of the community. 

The 21st annual Lori Craven Memorial Tournament took over Driven Energy Legion Ball Park last weekend, and to no one’s surprise, the sold-out tourney that can accommodate 32 teams raised a whopping $115,000 for local families in need.

“I think this was a record-breaking year for us, and we have the weather to thank for that,” said one of the organizers Gerry Maier.

“All of the teams stayed around all weekend. We ran out of food, we ran out of alcohol, and we kept having to go back to get more supplies because people were so supportive.

“This weekend is all about community coming together for the past 21 years to help families with illnesses, to take away their financial burden so they can put all of their efforts and positive thoughts into recovery for their loved one.”

With $115,000 tallied as of Tuesday morning, Maier said she expects that number to grow  to at least $120,000 by the time the finals totals are done up.

“Words can’t express how this all makes me feel; it’s just amazing,” she said, adding the fact she’s been reading inspirational posts on Facebook from people stating how much fun they have in the tournament every year.

“I don’t have a word for it … I’m just overwhelmed with pride for the community, the volunteers, and everyone that participates in one way or another.”

Once the tally is complete, funds raised will be doled out to community members and families in need.

“We have about 14 people who have reached out about receiving funding,” she said. “We have a lot of requests for scooters from people with mobility issues, and we also have some people we helped out last year that we’re able to help out again this year.”

Another emotional aspect of the tournament is the Char Jezowski Spirit Award, in memory of Charlene “Char” Jezowski who passed away in 2017.

Throughout the tournament, each team is asked to vote for a player on an opposing team who they  believe has been having fun and keeping with the spirit of what the tournament is all about. 

The winner of this year’s Char Jezowski Spirit Award was Kamryn Reschny.

“Kamy is near and dear to all our hearts and she’s been there since she was a baby. It’s great to see these young kids turn into amazing adults and keep the tournament going.”