On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Whistler Racket Club will be hosting a charity slo-pitch all-star game and home run derby to raise money for Whistler Community Services Society.
The idea first came to event organizer Anthony Joyce as a way to celebrate this summer’s slo-pitch season. But things really came together for him and co-organizer Shea Emry when they decided to use the event as a way to raise money and awareness for mental health services.
“[There’s] definitely a personal connection just playing in the slo-pitch league myself and having 30 or 40 staff and a bunch of friends in town that are all working in the industry, we are just maxed out and everyone is working doubles and just trying to get through this time,” said Emry, who is also part owner of the Whistler Racket Club.
“I personally have battled my own mental health struggles. I've had 30-plus concussions, I've got two kids, two businesses and COVID has affected all of that tremendously and I just wanted to have that larger conversation with more people from different organizations.”
The day will consist of one or two slo-pitch games, depending on numbers, followed by a mental health awareness panel and will wrap up with the home run derby.
Teams from every division of the Whistler Slo-Pitch Association are encouraged to nominate one guy and one girl to participate in each of the all-star game and the home run derby. However, the home-run derby will also be open to the public—or players who weren’t nominated by their teams—to enter for a donation, starting at $20.
The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Spruce Grove ball diamonds and will have a beer garden and canteen sponsored by Gibbons Whistler.
Other sponsors include XL Audio Visual, which will be supplying the speakers and microphones for the panel, Event Rental Works, which will be supplying tents, tables and chairs, and various other local businesses offering prizing for the home run derby.
The home run derby will be split into two with the ladies kicking things off followed by the men. It will be a three-round derby with the top four from round one moving on. In round one, batters have one minute to get as many points as possible (25 for a home run, 15 for deep outfield, 10 for mid-outfield). In round two, batters will have 90 seconds and the third and final round will be a one-minute head-to-head matchup between the two top batters.
“With this event I'm hoping to execute a smooth, fun experience for our community, bring the service industry and our hospitality industry together, and have a conversation,” said Emry. “Really that’s what this is about, sports and recreation, really bringing us together and enabling us to have conversations of what we are really going through and hopefully inspire us to make steps towards making healthier choices in our lives.”
Find more info and a link to register go to whistlerslopitch.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.