CORNWALL, Ontario – Approximately 120 players gathered at Optimist Park on Saturday, Oct. 13 to play slo-pitch in support of individuals with autism.
“We sold out the event relatively early with our first one (earlier this year), that’s why we set a second date,” said Paul Holland, Convener for the organization Slo-Pitch for Autism.
According to Holland, the organization held 50 tournaments across three provinces this year.
Teams could register for $325 and were also encouraged to fundraise. The tournament in Cornwall is limited to 10 teams as there are only two diamonds to utilize at the park. Of the 10 teams participating, many were from Cornwall, including Logan’s Pitches, Last Place Champions, the Why Nots and Corny Rockets.
“To date as an organization, I believe that over $100,000 has been donated to families with autism,” said Holland.
Holland explained that registration fees often fund permit fees to use ball diamonds, equipment costs and umpires. All donations fundraised go towards families affected by autism. Each family receives $500 at the end of the year according to Holland, and each team is encouraged to represent one family.
“We’ve had so much support and the slo-pitch community at large is a very close-knit community,” said Holland. “We have a lot of players come out with children with autism and we have players in our tournament that are autistic themselves.”
Holland believes that Optimist Park is one of the most well-groomed parks to play at.
“This is one of the nicest facilities we come to…I can’t think of many that are better,” he said.
To get involved or learn more about Slo-Pitch for Autism, visit Slo-Pitch for Autism on Facebook or www.slowpitchforautism.net.