2016 13th Annual

The 13th Anniversary of the RACH 3-Pitch Tournament followed the same pattern as in the past 12 years – a success from the moment Registration opened in February 2016, throughout the Tournament weekend!

The 13th Annual RACH 3-Pitch Tournament was a huge success, with the Tournament, donations and special events in 2016 WE RAISED OVER $71,000!

13th Annual Tournament Poster

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!

Special notes from 2016:

  • $2,229 that was raised at the Concession Stand was donated to the West Parry Sound Health Centre for a new Chemotherapy Chair
  • Congratulations Shiptric Elecman for winning the 1st Team Incentive prize by raising $5,320!  Your team is guaranteed a spot on the roster for 2017 AND the Committee will be cover your $200 minimum!
  • Thanks to the 26 individuals that raised $500+ to win the Individual Incentive Prize of a RACH “winners only” sweater. The 26 of you raised over $20,000 – you rock!!
  • To all the many teams that raised over the $200 Minimum – our many thanks!
  • Thank you to the Charles W. Stockey Centre for Performing Arts for accepting donations on behalf of the RACH Fund and raising over $1800 when you screened the Tragically Hip Concert on August 20th.


To start the ball rolling, 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 shared some heartfelt thoughts with the crowd.

“The RACH is a testament to the fabulous community we live in. For many of us, Rachel, the person and RACH the tournament, inspire us in our day to day lives. Both are examples of what make us all better people. To strive for something together as a community. To know that the whole is greater than the sum of each individual part. Rachel Ann Cecilia Higgins would be very happy and very proud of what we have accomplished.

We’ve all had journeys and struggles. Some more private and invisible, some we wear on our sleeves for everyone to see. You may have noticed many of us wearing pink RACH bracelets. They are available for purchase at the concession stand and the registration table. These bracelets remind us every day of what this tournament means. When our journey brings us down or knocks us sideways or we feel uninspired, they help us remember all that Rachel and others went through and are going through and how they all inspire us. Rachel lived her life with courage,   tenacity, grace, joy and hope. Always with hope. Hope for the future, hope for a cure for cancer. We will win this war. We will find a cure for cancer. Believe it.”

As well, Jo-Anne shared words from Dr. Irish who was hoping to join us for the opening ceremonies but a commitment kept him in Toronto until later.


“He wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the players and volunteers for raising money to support his GTx Research.  The monies raised here go directly to his research program by supporting engineers, scientists and surgeons who develop new technologies for cancer treatment.  The RACH Tournament fundraising has done amazing things for patients requiring complex cancer surgery.
Rachel Higgins was a wonderful young woman with so much potential and Dr. Irish is honoured that he and his team have been able to transform that potential into something meaningful for other patients in her memory.
He looks forward to seeing you later tonight and definitely on the playing field tomorrow.”


A few housekeeping items were then shared. The Silent Auction is open ‘til 9 Friday and ends at 5:15 SHARP Saturday. The Snack Bar BBQ hours were given, as well as the fact that all proceeds from the Snack Bar and Barbeque will be donated to the West Parry Sound Health Centre. This year our goal is to purchase a reclining chemotherapy therapy chair for Ambulatory Care.  Also it was mentioned to check out our sponsorship board as there are many  businesses and individuals in our community who generously support the RACH year after year. In turn, it was suggested that supporters consider frequenting their establishments or purchasing their services whenever you can as a way to say thanks. Finally, last but not least, she mentioned that this event would not be possible without the legions of volunteers that donate their time, their energy, and their joy. She suggested that as folks see them working hard over the weekend, to be sure to give them a smile, a thank you and maybe even a high five. Volunteers received a round of applause!

Jo-Anne introduced Mary Bishop, Rachel’s Aunt, who led the crowd in singing our national anthem, Oh Canada, and before the first pitch on the field; Jo-Anne introduced Aubree Butler who threw the opening pitch.  

Aubree is 5 year’s old and was diagnosed in July 2015 with a  proximal epitheliode sarcoma in the skull.  She has been receiving treatment at Sick Kids, with many trips for chemo and radiation. She did an amazing job throwing the opening pitch and received a rousing round of applause!

Opening Pitch 2016

We were then entertained by The Georgian Jumpers who performed immediately after the pitch. This team was represented by 12 competitive jumpers and 4 coaches. They hosted the Ontario Open at the highschool, attended the Provincial Championships in Grimsby and qualified to compete at the Nationals in Olds Alberta last month. At Nationals, the Wonder Jumper 13-14 year olds finished fifth overall and the Junior Jumper team, under 10s placed first overall, bringing home National Gold. Nicole Ritchie placed fifth overall in the 15-17 age category and Stephanie Weeks came first overall in the age 13 to 14 category. Even more impressively, Stephanie set a Provincial Record for her 3 minute endurance event. They were amazing, check out this video on YouTube.

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: 

Just 4 Kicks

Saturday Night:




Princess Margaret Division

Winners: Jeters Never Prosper 

Consolation Winner: Here come the Runs  

Higgins Division

Winners: One Hit Wonders  

Consolation Winner: Young Bucks



Check out the video saluting Dr. Irish for his 15 years of service as the head of surgical oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

RACH tourney on all day Saturday - check out the great pic of Dr. Jonathan Irish running the bases!!

RACH 2016 Kicks Off

RACH reaches $835,000