Velma Lafleur is one of the coordinators for the event. She says the tournament was originally started with her husband Allen, or Al, to support a young from the neighbourhood.
“Quite a long time ago, when we first started, Al started it because of a little boy in town who had cancer,” she explains. “We ended up raising over 10 grand for him, and we decided that we should do it every year.”
Velma says that it’s great to see the community support as strong as it is for the cause, as this is the first time the event is full of teams under the Red Eye format.
Since Allen’s death a few years ago, the tournament was switched to a Red Eye format to allow for more teams to participate.
“It’s great; we’re very excited that we’re full this year,” Lafleur says. “The last year that Al was alive, we had to turn away quite a few teams, because we weren’t running Red Eye, and that’s when we decided we needed to have a Red Eye, instead of just a regular tournament.”
Lafleur adds that the cause was very important to Allen, and the family wants to carry that over.
“Al was very giving, and felt that this was a great cause, and he said it was a very overwhelming feeling to hand a family $10,000, and that we should do this every year.”
The first pitch at the event will be thrown Friday evening.