Kings County Fallen Heroes Softball Tournament to raise awareness, funds for PTSD


Published on June 14, 2017

Some of the participants in the first Fallen Heroes softball tournament in 2014 observe a moment of silence in memory of the RCMP officers killed in the line of duty in Moncton.

©File photo

KENTVILLE, NS - It’s a softball tournament that honours fallen heroes and, this year, it will raise awareness and funds for organizations helping those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

 

The Fallen Heroes Softball Tournament runs from July 7 to 9 in Kentville, New Minas and Port Williams. Teams will play three games each in round-robin style. Single-elimination playoffs will be held on Sunday, July 9.

Co-organizer Const. Nick MacLean, formerly with the Kings District RCMP, said the tournament brackets are now filled. There is a competitive division with 10 teams and a recreational division with 22 teams. The 32 teams include some 440 players. Each team will have a minimum of three female players.

The purpose of the tournament is to honour fallen heroes. In the past, it has raised money to help support family members left behind. This year it raises funds and awareness for PTSD.

“This originated after the Moncton (RCMP) members were shot and killed in 2014,” MacLean said.

The first tournament raised funds for the families of the fallen RCMP members. In June 2014, a 24-year-old Moncton man shot five officers, killing three and severely injuring two. Const. David Ross, Const. Fabrice Gevaudan and Const. Douglas Larche were killed. Const. Darlene Goguen and Const. Eric Dubois were injured.

In 2015, the tournament raised money for the families of Aux. Const. Derrick Bond and Const. David Wynn, RCMP members killed in the line of duty in Alberta in January of that year.

Last year, the tournament benefited the Catherine Campbell Memorial Trust Fund. A constable with the Truro Police Service, Campbell was killed while off duty in Halifax in September 2015.

This year, the tournament will be held in support of two organizations that assist those suffering from PTSD: Paws Fur Thought, a school that trains dogs to help people with PTSD, and Rally Point Retreat, a facility that helps essential service members and others being treated for PTSD.

MacLean said it’s important for people to realize that police officers and other essential service members are human. Their families and friends are deeply affected when tragedies occur.

He said people are becoming more aware of PTSD in general with more individuals affected by the disorder now openly talking about it. You never heard of it 30 years ago. The softball tournament will help raise awareness.

MacLean came up with the idea of the annual softball tournament while posted in Kings County. He got an organizing committee together to help get the event off the ground. In the first three years, the tournament has raised a total of $36,474. Participating teams pay registration fees and players receive shirts with the Fallen Heroes logo.

If you go

-       The opening ceremonies for the Fallen Heroes Softball Tournament takes place at Kentville Memorial Park at 6:15 p.m. on July 7.

-       There will be a military fly-over as part of the opening ceremony.

-       The tournament will feature a beer tent, canteen and barbecue at Kentville Memorial Park.

-       This year there will be a “visible vault” at Kentville Memorial Park on July 8. The vault is unlocked with a six-digit combination.

-       200 tickets will be sold, each with a chance to guess the six-digit code. The winner will receive $50,000 from sponsor Golding and Associates Limited, licensed insolvency trustee and credit counsellors. $12,500 of the prize must be spent with Golding and Associates and the winner decides what to do with the remaining $37,500 in cash.