“I’m very disappointed. It was an opportunity for everyone to get together and show how much people actually care about the less fortunate,” said event organizer Tammy Lebeuf.
The event typically raises between $2,000 to $3,000 for the Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions Christmas Hamper program and a local food bank.
The fundraising efforts give less-fortunate children a memorable Christmas. Over the years the tournament has benefited more than 100 local children.
Lebeuf struggled to make the decision to cancel the event in which eight local teams had committed to playing. However, the hefty $10,000 fine that could be levied for organizing the event (if more than 25 people show up) and the potential $750 fines for attendees made it a no-brainer for Lebeuf to pull the plug.
With 11 players on opposing teams and umpires, there would have been 23 people at the diamond at a time, which comes dangerously close to the 25 person outdoor gathering limit, said Lebeuf.
“I talked to someone who works with the City of Orillia and they have already given out a lot of fines. We can’t control if other people show up at the diamond, so it’s not worth it,” Lebeuf said.
Fortunately, instead of receiving refunds, the participating teams have decided to donate their registration fees to the Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions Christmas Hamper program and the many sponsors from around town are letting Lebeuf hold on to the prizes to be offerend in an online raffle that will raise more money for the cause.
“Even though the tournament is cancelled, I still believe our community will make it just as good if not better this year,” Lebeuf said.
Lebeuf thanks the teams and players who were set to play this weekend, as well as all the community partners who have willingly donated prizes and cash to help the event meet their fundraising goals despite the cancellation.
If an individual or local business wants to sponsor the event and make a donation, they can contact Lebeuf via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.