Kids play on the field as teams take a breather after a game at last year's tourney.

Kids play on the field as teams take a breather after a game at last year's tourney.

Firefighters getting set to hit home run for Muscular Dystrophy

Father’s Day weekend will see the return of the Mesachie Group softball tournament from Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 17.

Father’s Day weekend will see the return of the Mesachie Group softball tournament from Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 17.

This is the 33rd annual fundraiser the group has participated in for Muscular Dystrophy, and once again it will be held at the Mesachie Lake Skydome, Mesachie Lake.

Firefighters from Mesachie Lake, Honeymoon Bay, Caycuse, Youbou, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Cowichan Bay, Langford and Ladysmith will be helping to raising money through a fun filled weekend of golf, softball, and the famous live auction.

The auction is really the central focus of this weekend, as it raises between $30,000 and $50,000 each year. Fire Chief Gary Eve says that in the past, items have included a trip to Painter’s Lodge, a Blue Jays shirt with Roberto Alomar’s autograph, and many other unique items.

This year, items include a painting by Herb Wittrin, a local artist, a barbecue from Walmart, a birdhouse in the shape of a firefighters helmet, T-shirts, hats, gift baskets, and much more.

For Nick Soyhe and his family, this cause hits close to home. When the Soyhe’s son, Adam was four years old, they found out that he had the disease. Up until a few years ago, Adam did the music for the evening dances during the tournament, but has had to retire as his muscles are experiencing more problems.

A few years ago, Timber West donated a helicopter ride to Adam and Grady Robertson, another youth affected with the disease who lives in Duncan. The two were able to travel with their families to Vancouver to watch a Canucks game.

Mesachie Group has won several awards for their fundraising efforts, including the Department of the Year Award for two years in a row, and the Multi Group Function Award for the last two years in a row.

The other component to this fun filled weekend is the evening skits put on by the participating fire departments. This year’s theme is “Red Neck Olympics,” and Soyhe says “I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.”

This is definitely a 19 plus event, but Nick Wilde, a captain out at the Youbou Fire Department, says it’s the best part. Each department puts on a ten minute show (sometimes they are dressed in drag) to entertain ball players and locals on both Friday and Saturday night.

The fun will begin on Friday this year, with the first game being played at 6 p.m. Saturday games begin at 8 a.m. and will end at noon for the auction. The auction will be held outside (unless it rains), and guests will be able to enjoy a beer gardens while they bid.

Sunday the final games of the tournament will begin at 8 a.m. and will probably go until 3 p.m.

Friday, starting at 9 a.m., golfers can take part in a tournament out at March Meadows Golf Course in Honeymoon Bay. To register, or to learn more about this event, call Nick Soyhe at 250-749-6914, or go to mesachiegroup.org.