Craven Ball helps again

By Geoff Lee

August 16, 2016 9:02 AM

The Lori Craven Memorial Ball Tournament, which is taking place this weekend at Legion Park, helps raise money for local children and families affected by illness. Jayce Miazga will be raising money by having her first ever haircut at the tournament, where people can bid to be the one who acts as the barber.

The Lori Craven Memorial Ball Tournament is going into its 15th year this weekend, something committee member Gerry Maier said is a testament to Lloydminster’s charitable residents.
“Lloydminster is so giving; this is our 15th year and that just goes to prove that we live in a great community and they help out their own when they’re in need,” Maier said.
“It’s great to see.”
Every year the event helps out local children and families affected with illnesses by donating the tournament’s proceeds to their medical expenses.
This time around the funds will go to the families of Colby Jezowski, Lincoln Janisse, Cole Baptiste, Glenda Schienbein and Grayson Dragniuk.
Money is raised by collecting entrance fees from teams—this year there are 32 signed up—as well as through pail prizes, a silent auction and the beer garden.
The Weston family also donated some beef that will be sold at the concession, with all the proceeds from that going to the families as well.
“Last year we got rained out on the Saturday, so we didn’t know if we’d even be able to have the tournament, but we raised $90,000,” said Maier.
Then there are the people who are sponsored to cut their hair, which attendees can make bids to work the scissors.
One of the people who volunteered this year, seven-year-old Jayce Miazga, will be getting her beautiful blonde locks sheared for the first time in her life.
Jayce’s late grandmother, Gail Hohne, was one of last year’s recipients of the event’s proceeds, and this year the tournament is partly dedicated to her honour, as well as that of Jim Nichols and Jennifer Mabbott.
Ashley Miazga, Jayce’s mother and daughter of Hohne, said it was quite a shock when her little girl came up with the idea.
“Jayce has basically never had a haircut in real life, and so when my mom passed away, she just came up with the idea of cutting it one day because Lori Craven (Memorial Ball Tournament) has kind of been part of our family for a couple years now,” said Miazga.
“She’s seen what they’ve done as a presentation at the Lori Craven for the last day and she just decided she was going to cut it to raise money for sick little kids because her hair is so long; it just surprised us because she’s never wanted a hair cut, she always wanted to grow it.”
Those who want to support Jayce and make a donation can call Miazga at 780-872-9074.
To understand where all this generosity comes from in the first place, one has to know the story of Lori Craven the person.
Craven was a friend of Maiers’ and a fellow baseball enthusiast, both playing the sport together years ago.
The first year of the ball tournament fundraiser in 2002 was to raise money for Craven after she fell ill so she could afford a trip Seattle for treatment.
“She didn’t make it (for treatment), but instead she kind of passed the money on to some friends with illnesses and to some sports teams and stuff like that,” said Maier.
“We raised $5,100 the first year, and she was into sports and she loved kids, so we continued it on in her name to help kids with illnesses or families where kids are affected, just to pay medical bills and stuff like that, so it lifts the burden on that stress at a time when stress is so high for families.”
After nearly two decades, the event has grown and now draws in the ballpark of $100,000 each year, helping out numerous children and families in the Lloydminster area who are going through the roughest times in their lives.
This year the Lori Craven Memorial Ball Tournament takes place Aug. 20 and 21 at the Legion Ball Diamond, with the first game starting Saturday at 8 a.m.

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