Back in the spring of 2017, Damian Pearson, a young, typically active Vancouver urbanite, along with Erin Lewis and a bunch of their family and friends, decided to hold a slo-pitch softball tournament. They thought of the fun of the game, and the wonderful social atmosphere both on and off the field that they would have. Being no strangers to such events, Damian and Erin knew that beer was a staple necessity, that a special occasion permit was required, and that in order to get one, a charity had to be named to receive proceeds from alcohol sales.
“I was searching the internet for a charity that was sport-related to get kids playing. I grew up playing sport my whole life and I couldn't imagine life without the experiences, lessons and friendships that I got because of my participation in sport. So, I wanted to help others have the chance at those same opportunities. I stumbled on KidSport and thought it was a perfect fit.”
Erin, a North Shore single Mum of two, had found it a struggle to get her kids into a sport due to the cost. Erin says, “Getting kids outside to play sports and to find their favorite one was a priority. And I enjoyed the friendships and community connections that were made.” At the time Erin wasn’t aware of KidSport, so she didn’t benefit from the grants provided to financially challenged families which help get kids into their game.
Today Erin and Damian, have created this charity slo-pitch tournament, and the proceeds are donated to
KidSport North Shore – So All Kids Can Play!
Damian recalls those sport-playing years that he grew up with in North Vancouver, so he contacted Karen at KidSport North Shore, and was of course warmly received. The tournaments have been successful - held at Connaught Park in Vancouver, with a patio and facility generously donated by the Meralomas Rugby Club. There was a bar-b-que, raffles, the ever-present 50/50 draw, and of course, beer. In all, the thirsty and hungry players raised over $1,200 in 2017 and $1716.70 for KidSport North Shore in 2018. As well, Erin’s boss and major supporter of this event, Carla Hubbart of Olympic Industries, also contributed to this successful event. This means that 6 or 7 North Shore kids will be able to play a season of sport because a bunch of friends got together one afternoon to play a little softball!
Erin’s family including her partner Jared, daughters and Mum, along with friends of both Erin and Damian, planned and organized the game day activities, which all contributed to very successful and generous donations for KidSport North Shore. Erin says that “KidSport North Shore helps kids to explore their sport interests”, and through these fundraisers, she and Damian are helping North Shore families with financial hardships, to give their kids an opportunity to play their sport.
Erin, Damian and their family and friends, will never know who the kids are, and the kids will never know how it is they got the chance to play. But play they will!
Plans to continue this ball are rolling (pun intended), for another tournament in July 2019. And if it goes like the previous events, the ball will only start rolling after its hit out of the park!”
If you have a group of friends and colleagues that could also raise funds to support North Shore children to play a season of sport – please contact us!