PARRY SOUND - This year's Rally Against Cancer Hardcore (RACH) three-pitch tournament was a local crowd pleaser. The annual weekend-long fundraiser in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation is in memory of Rachel Higgins, who lost her battle with olfactory neuroblastoma in 2005.
Annual RACH tournament a home run.
Whitestone Wildcats player Greg Schmidt catches a ball in the outfield.
Cody Storm Cooper/North Star
The 32 teams that participated in the tournament, paired with other fundraising initiatives including a fish fry that sold 460 plates, brought in $55,000, beating last year's total by $6,000.
According to Joanne Higgins, tournament organizer, the weekend was a success despite some of the rainy weather.
“We had some wet games,” she said. “Overall it went really, really well.”
The Benchwarmers, a local team, won the tournament with another local team, The Shockers, placing second.
During the opening ceremonies on Friday, a ‘flash mob’ surprised the crowd with a performance of Seasons of Love from the musical Rent.
“There’s a celebration of life in that song,” said Higgins. “It was one of the songs Rachel really liked. It was great.”
The 'mob' started out as a small group with audience members that were prepared to do so joining in after the first verse of the song. New to the fundraiser this year were pledge forms and a quilt raffle which brought in $6,000 towards the fundraising total. Higgins said she hadn't set a fundraising target for the weekend.
“I hate to set goals like that because there is always that expectation,” she said.
Amy Copegog, from Midland, played in the tournament for the first time this year.
“I love it, I think it's awesome,” she said. Copegog, who played for the Benchwarmers, said she plays for four different ball teams in Midland.
“I would love to play with this team again next year,” she said.
Joanne Higgins said she was thrilled to see the overwhelming amount of support from locals and visitors.
“A big thank you to all of the community members and players for their support this weekend,” she said.
To see highlights from the tournament Click Here