The Lake Cowichan Fire Department up at bat during last year’s final game. Lake Cowichan claimed a victory over the Ladysmith Fire Department

The Lake Cowichan Fire Department up at bat during last year’s final game. Lake Cowichan claimed a victory over the Ladysmith Fire Department

Firefighters play ball at Skydome for charity

This Fathers’ Day weekend, firefighters from across the Island will descend on the Mesachie Lake Skydome for the 36th consecutive year.

This Fathers’ Day weekend, firefighters from across the South and Central Island will descend on the Mesachie Lake Skydome for the 36th consecutive year.

The annual slo-pitch softball tournament will see the Mesachie Group, which includes firefighters from Mesachie Lake, Lake Cowichan, Honeymoon Bay, Youbou, Caycuse, Duncan, Cowichan Bay, Langford and Ladysmith, come together to raise as much money as possible for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

The tournament began in 1979, as a way to raise money for the Mesachie Lake firehall. Since then, its become a huge fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy Canada, raising over $700,000 for the group over the years, according to a press release from Cowichan Bay’s deputy fire chief Cam Ferguson. Along with the Mesachie Group’s other events, the 30km Walk for Muscular Dystrophy and golf tournament, the group raises an annual $30,000 to 40,000 every year.

This year’s softball tournament will begin on Friday, June 19 with a game between Honeymoon Bay and Youbou at 7 p.m. The decision to change the Friday to a single game was made in order to reduce the pressure on fire departments to make it there on time for the usual earlier game on Friday.

Saturday will kick off with a game between last year’s champions, our very own Lake Cowichan Fire Department, and the Ladysmith Fire Department, who defeated Lake Cowichan in the final game of 2013. Eight more games will be played between June 20 at 10 a.m. and June 21 at 1:45 p.m., with the final game being played at 2:30 p.m. on June 21.

Though the tournament is open only to teams put together by the firefighters themselves, anyone is welcome to come down to the Skydome to watch and cheer on their local firefighters.

The tournament will also include an auction of over 100 items, with the sale of items going towards Muscular Dystrophy Canada. The auction begins at 1 p.m. on June 20.

“We invite anyone to attend and participate in the bidding of the items we auction off,” organizer and Ladysmith firefighter Dwain King said.

The Mesachie Lake Skydome is located at 9315 South Shore Road.