One of June’s biggest events is coming up this weekend, complete with a magical new theme; Disney.
“So, some people will be dressed in costumes over the weekend,” key organizer Nick Sohye said.
Other than the new theme, organizers are sticking to the motto, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
The same as previous years’ Muscular Dystrophy Slo-Pitch Tournament, events will begin Thursday, June 16, with a firefighter’s parade through various Cowichan Valley communities.
It will begin in Cobble Hill, ending up at Duncan’s Walmart area by about 11 a.m.
The parade will make its way to Youbou around 1 p.m., followed by Lake Cowichan, and then their finishing point at Mesachie Lake by about 2 to 3 p.m.
Don’t worry too much about missing the firefighters, as they’ll be making plenty of noise to alert passers by as to their arrival.
Throughout the parade, firefighters will be collecting money for Muscular Dystrophy; the underlying point of the weekend’s events.
Slo-pitch action will commence Friday night with two games beginning at 6 p.m. Games will continue Saturday at 8 a.m., and on Sunday until some time between 3 and 5 p.m., when trophies are to be presented.
So far, seven teams of firefighters, including teams from Duncan, Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Lake Cowichan, Caycuse, Langford, and Ladysmith, have signed up for the tournament.
All games will take place at the Mesachie Lake Skydome field.
In addition to slo-pitch action, the annual auction will also take place, at the Mesachie Lake Skydome field, beginning at noon on Saturday.
As always, unique items are always coming in, Sohye said.
One particularly neat auction item is 200 Hot Wheels toy cars, courtesy of Ken Mitchell, who received the toys through his late son Darren Mitchell.
The auction is not an event to miss, with hundreds of items being auctioned off.
Last year’s event had 772 items up for auction.
Don’t expect a good deal, though. As a fund-raiser, bids on items are treated as donations. An example from last year was $260 going toward a Monopoly board game.
This will be the 32nd annual ball tournament.
It started off in 1979 as a fund-raiser for Mesachie Lake Fire Hall improvements.
The fund-raising goal changed when Nick and Sherry Sohye found out their son, Adam, had muscular dystrophy (MD), a disease that causes muscles to break down and weaken over time.
When Duncan firefighter Doug Robertson and his wife Debbie found out that their son, Grady, also had MD, the group of local-area firefighters banded together to turn the annual tournament into an MD fund-raiser.
Last year’s event raised over $42,000.