Last weekend marked the 14th year of the Lori Craven Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament, which raises money for sick kids and families in the Lloydminster area who need help with medical expenses. Heavy rains on Saturday meant they had to cancel one day of the tournament but the fundraiser still managed to gross $88,000.
“We had one rained out day, but we still had some dedicated ball teams, people and committee members that were out there frying burgers and selling at the beer gardens,” said Gerry Maier, committee member of the event. “The tournament makes me speechless. To me, personally, I just see the community coming together and it’s just amazing to see all of those great people in that short period of time and how they just come out and support these families. It’s amazing.”
The main recipients of the funds raised this year were Elaina Crawford, Bentley Sheppard and Joel Petrie of Lloydminster.
Some of the things organizers do to raise money include silent auctions, door prizes, sponsoring people to cut their hair and shave their beards and tending bars throughout the year for Husky Social Club events like the Lobster Fest.
Though this year the amount raised was down from previous years due to the struggling economy, Maier says they are still really pleased with the turnout.
See “Lori Craven,” Page 16
The tournament is held in honour of Maier’s friend and fellow teammate, Lori Craven, whom they held a fundraiser for 14 years ago to help send her to Seattle so she could undergo cancer treatment. Unfortunately Craven passed away before making it to Seattle but decided to pay it forward by giving the money to some of her friends that were also sick. They raised $5,100 that first year and the tournament grew from there.
“The next year we thought, well she loved kids and she loved sports so we were going to put this on and see if we could help kids and families. And it’s not just kids anymore and it’s not just cancer. Just people that have sick kids and family members because it costs so much money to travel and all of the other expenses.”
Now over a decade later the Lori Craven Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament has helped dozens of individuals and families survive through tough times.
“To me personally it’s just overwhelming,” said Maier. “This tournament means everything to me and to a lot of other people.”