Starting off with a Thwack!

July 21, 2014 

My first community challenge this year’s was the QDF Softball Tournament.  What a wonderful way to start!

No matter how others describe something, I don’t really get it until I see/live it myself. So while my team buised about, efficiently preparing for the event, I was nervous in meeting the challenge of the unknown.

Luckily, I have an ace up my sleeve in Cassandra Togneri, who coordinated this event with aplomb. Putting members first, she was the picture of the iconic Tasmanian Devil, attending to tasks to ensure the comfort and safety of all.

Arriving at the park to join the set-up team, I quickly realised that this may be a listed as an all fun day, but folks were bringing their A game. Before the team could even unpack the van, players were on the field warming up and strategising.

At eight-thirty, the bulk of teams began to pour into the park, and with them came a sense of community that would grow and flourish throughout the day. While there was no doubt a good deal of competitive spirit at play, what reached me most, was a joy and playfulness at having a chance to gather and share more than work. Our new friends over at Creemore Springs , also lent a lubricating hand, with their generous support of our community.

By the last game things got really hot; both literally and figuratively. The competitive spirit rose to a fevered and slightly partisan pitch. As I stood back and tried to keep my own cheerleading fair – can’t help but root for those you know and love- I could not believe the level of play I was witnessing. Here it was, 9 hours after the first game was played, and these two teams were battling like it was World Series. It was not until I strolled over to the scorekeeper that I realised just how fierce these players are. Here they were, at a point in the game where the winner was all but a given, yet neither gave an inch.  As such, those who braved the heat to support teams and watch the games, were treated to some great displays of sportsmanship.

Even more heart warming than this display of spirit, was that one displayed by fans once the game came to an end. A crowd that had clearly supported a favorite during the game were quick to drop partisanship, and loudly congratulate the winners. This final display of community spirit made me feel more at home than anything ever could.

As with any community event, helping hands are vital to success. We were blessed with many great volunteers, who braved the beading sun, to lend their support to the event.  The infusion of renewing energy, helped to uplift our team’s sprit through the long day.

Speaking of spirit, I have to take my hat off to all the players, who got down and dirty in the name of team. While overall, this is just a fun day, bragging rights are always up for grabs.  In this case, Artdramus Productions walked away with well-earned bragging rights.

I have never been one for win/loose paradigms.  As such, I very much doubt I will remember who won this year. What I will remember are the moments and the stand outs. People like Jessica Pellerin of Artdramus Productions, who can only be described as Amazonian in style and stature. Talk about fan moment, I told her I want her athletic prowess next lifetime.  I don’t know if it was the hat, but Paul Shore rose for the impossible save in the final game. What about Andreas Apergis of Scapegoat, who rolled up in dust ball on the mound and came up with the ball! The day was filled with great plays from the likes of  Mike Hughes, Andrew Shaver, Lynn Kozak, Joakim Levasseur, Jimmy Blais, and Katie Leggit, and I must shout out our very own Stephanie McKenna. There are just too many moments to name, but I shout out Patricia Summersett, who took home MVP kudos.

As a new comer, I must also shout our accidental ambassador for the day, Howard Rosenstein, who, amongst many others, welcomed me effusively, but also reached out to other newcomers and bring them into the fold.

This is just a sample of the community I have inherited, and I could not be more grateful and committed to my place within it. I look forward to many more opportunities to share the journey with all, and hope to see more of our community on field or in the stands next year.


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