2015 12th Annual

OPENING CEREMONIES:  

The 12th Anniversary of the RACH 3-Pitch Tournament followed the same pattern as in the past 11 years – a success from the moment Registration opened in February 2015, throughout the Tournament weekend!

2015 Reminder Card

As in the past several years, Ryan Heaney As in the past several years, Ryan Heaney created our amazing Reminder card that was mailed to many of our supporters and poster that was displayed around Parry Sound prior to the tournament weekend.  Check out Ryan’s website ryanheaney.com to see first hand his amazing talent!

To start the ball rolling, we had two MC’s for the Opening Ceremonies.  Adam Higgins (Rachel’s brother) thanked everyone for attending and sharied his heartfelt thoughts about who Rachel was and how valuable this Tournament is to not only the Higgins family, but the community and beyond. Also how Rachel’s love of life and appreciation for the care she received at PMH was continuing to be expressed through this Tournament and her friends, family and community

Jo-Anne Ferguson took the stage to continue with the Opening Ceremonies. At this point, the annual Pickerel Fish Fry was underway, serving approximately 400 supporters.  Jo-Anne also reflected on the amazing Tournament in its twelfth year and fundraising efforts of the supporters of the RACH Fund and how the strength of the tournament lies in the dream and the legacy of Rachel Anne Cecelia Higgins.  Jo-Anne was thrilled to announce that the RACH Fund had raised over $735,000 since 2004 before the tournament had begun.  As well, she shared important information about the amazing research of Dr. Jonathan Irish (who was bringing a team back for this year’s tournament – TEAM GTX).  In fact in 2014 Dr. Irish was listed as one of the top 30 doctors in Toronto in the Toronto Life magazine; and shared facts about the amazing new OR that Dr. Irish and his team opened at Toronto General.  Click here to read more.

A few housekeeping items were then shared including the times for the Silent Auction and that folks should take time to check out the sponsorship board that is displayed each year to indicate the many, many businesses and individuals in the community who have generously supported the RACH Fund year after year. Jo-Anne also reminded everyone that the volunteers who work tirelessly during and before the tournament weekend to ensure it went off without a hitch should be recognized, and to give them a smile or high five throughout the weekend to say thanks!  Finally, housekeeping notes were rounded up with the important messages about drinking and driving and the park’s non-smoking rules. To get players and their fans warmed up, Jo-Anne advised to watch for Shannon Tuck and friends who would be offering some Zumba instruction after the opening ceremonies!

It was Jo-Anne’s pleasure to introduce Kristin House (Murch), who had composed a song in Rachel’s honour shortly after she graduated to angel status.  Kristen then performed her beautiful song ‘Rachel Anne Cecilia’ from her album ~ Why So Blue; which reminded everyone that Rachel’s spirit is here and that “her legend lives on”.  Jo-Anne reminded everyone to smile and dance this weekend and to find joy in ourselves and others.

Another example of the benefit of the funds raised through the RACH Fund was shared in that a close family friend of the Higgins and the community, Ted McKeown, had been a recipient of the exceptional care of Dr. Irish, after his diagnosis of cancer.  The inspiration for this tournament, Rachel Higgins, and the continuing efforts of the community in her honour, is a reflection of the Parry Sound community team work “to know that the whole is greater than the sum of each individual part”.

Finally, given that this year Canada celebrated the 70th anniversary of its role in the liberation of the Netherlands in World War II and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Flag; flags were distributed among the supporters and Trish Hewson led the crowd in our national anthem, Oh Canada.

Before the first pitch on the field; Jo-Anne introduced the three individuals to throw the opening pitch ~ Aaron, Jennifer & Georgia Higgins.

WEEKEND ACTIVITIES:    The 3-day event of course included 3-Pitch Baseball with 32 teams, including a Friday night Pickerel Fish Fry, two nights of live entertainment, the ever-popular Silent Auction, BBQ/Concession, Fireworks and the Beer Tent! 

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT IN BEER TENT:  The Live Entertainment for both Friday and Saturday nights in the beer tent was a success once again!

Friday night live Band ~ The Hosts
Check them out on Facebook as well!

Saturday night the crowd was entertained by No Strings Attached

SPECIAL NOTES:   

Winning TEAMS:

The format continued this year where there would be no ball played on Sunday and the majority of the teams were required to play on Friday night; therefore we had two winning teams ~Congratulations to the Benchwarmers & Baseraiders!

Many Colours of Cancer Bracelet:

Returning this year for sale at the Tournament is the RACH Many Colours of Cancer bracelet introduced by Cate Schenk, a friend from Muskoka whose daughter is a brain cancer survivor.

RACH Bracelet

Cate donated these bracelets and all proceeds from the sale of these bracelets were exclusive to the RACH Fund. Thank you for your generosity Cate!

Fundraising Incentive Prize:

Once again we are offering our popular RACH 3-Pitch Tournament Hoodie for those participants that raise $500+ in pledges and we were thrilled to present 12 participants this incentive prize this year.  These 12 participants are to be congratulated because the individual fundraising efforts of these 12 people raised over $11,000!!  Thank you!

CONGRATULATIONS:

We raised close to $30,000 during the weekend, bringing a grand total $63,700* in 2015

and a GRAND TOTAL OF OVER $768,000 raised since 2004!!

*We are proud to have given back to the Parry Sound Community as well with $1,700 donated in 2015 to WPSHC*

LINKS OF INTEREST:   

Lifetime: Innovative use of 3D printers

GTx Imaging is AWESOME! PROUD TO BE A PART…Take a look at this short clip with Pauline Chan on CTV’s Today’s Life Time at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation reporting on Princess Margaret’s 3D Imaging and the difference it is making.

Innovative use of 3D printers

Dr. Jonathan Bernstein, Otolaryngologist tells us that head and neck cancers together are the six most common forms of cancer.  Using this equipment, Harley Chan, 3D Imaging and Printing Specialist speaks about making a 3D model to help rehearse the surgery which will replace the part of the jaw removed due to cancer, allowing patients to eat, speak and feel better about their appearance.

Michael Daly tells us that in the past Doctors had to rely on their imaginations to plan for these complex surgeries.  3D printing allows for a low cost, effective means of creating a wide assortment of patient specific models.

 

Parry Sound North Star: June 26, 2015 – 12th Annual RACH tournament

Parry Sound North Star: July 10, 2015 – Together we continue to make a difference