Always A Humbling Experience At ‘The Gil’

Pictured above are the Lake Simcoe Lightning fastball team, who also happen to be the champions of the 6th Annual Gil Read Memorial Fastball Tournament held this past weekend. This year’s edition of the tournament was by far the best we’ve ever had and I couldn’t be happier with the direction it is trending in.

I’m always left humbled by the end of tournament weekend by all of the hard work that people put into making it a success. Not only is it a testament to the memory of my father but in a world where social media magnifies all the bad, it’s nice to see so many people who are coming together to do something good for the kids. From volunteers pulling 8 hour shifts and off duty doctors tending to injured athletes, to bartender volunteers staying until 1am and locals lending us their BBQ when ours breaks down, I am always left amazed at the amazing community of people this tournament has supporting it.

Our corporate sponsors give year after year without so much as a follow up email, with some of them even offering money before we ask for it. We are endlessly appreciative to companies like Rebel Tents, Play It Again Sports, Logs End, Cabotto’s Dining Lounge and Broker 4 Tickets, who give up their hard earned money so that we can continue to put on this event and provide funding for the kids. These companies understand what we are trying to do and it creates a family atmosphere instead of a business one, which is truly amazing. There are so many more and they will get their love in due time.

We started this thing 6 years ago with no idea what it was going to look like and now we not only have a flourishing tournament, that hit it’s 12 team goal for the first time, but we’ve also been able to raise enough money to help a lot of kids who otherwise would not have been able to compete in organized sport. I am proud of the work we are doing, humbled by the amount of help we are offered and I know my Dad would have loved every second of this tournament and initiative.

Thank you to everyone who showed up, helped out, sponsored, played, spent your hard earned money, tweeted, shared, laughed and cried (okay, that was just me) at the Gil Read Memorial Tournament this year. Without you, none of this would be possible and we wouldn’t be able to provide for these kids who just want to have the same opportunity that their friends have.


My Favourite Part Is When Our Kids Give Out The Trophy!

My Favourite Part Is When Our Kids Give Out The Trophy!

The 5th Annual Gil Read Memorial Fastball Tournament in #Ottawa

I’m very happy and even more excited to announce that The 5th Annual Gil Read Memorial Fastpitch Tournament is all geared up and ready to go! The tournament will take place at the Carp Fairgrounds in the Village of Carp, Ontario, home of the Carp I4C Victory Fast Ball Club.

The tournament will run from July 27th to July 29th and features some of the best fastball in Eastern Ontario and Quebec. The games will begin Friday the 27th at 7pm. A day pass is $5 and a weekend pass is $10 with kids under 12 free.

For those of you who don’t know, and there’s probably a lot of you, The Gil Read Memorial Foundation is a charity that my family set up shortly after my father passed away. Our goal is to help less fortunate children compete in sports and we’re proud of the work we do in his honour!

I could go on forever about my Dad, as you all know, but I want to focus on the tournament this time around so I’ll leave you with a link to the About Gil page on our website, as well a Guest Post I did about him for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Ottawa website.

A little bit about the venue. Carp, located approximately 20 minutes west of Ottawa, has been a fast pitch community for many years. In the early 1990’s, The Carp Valley Pride made their home at the Carp Fairgrounds and boasted one of the top lineups in all of Canada. It was an easy choice for us and we know you’ll love it there.

We have 10 teams entered in this years competition, ranging from local to long distance: Carp I4C Victory, Kars Aces, Fitzroy Harbour West Carleton Electric, Ottawa Taylor Blitz, Stittsville 56ers, Toronto Gators, Donnaconna Blue Sox, Cornwall Pickups, Chisasibi Comets & the Elkland, PA Thunderbellys.

As far as fan entertainment goes, we have a lot lined up for you! There is a Beer Tent on location, sponsored by our friends at Molson’s. We also have Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, lots of Water and other snacks available throughout the weekend. We have lots of prizes available as well and all the wonderful volunteers are available and willing to help out in any way possible to make this a great experience for you and your family!

Please feel free to bring your kids out to the event as well, as the diamonds feature a Splash Pad and Park on site, along with plenty of open space for the kids to run around and play. Not to mention that they are the future of our sport and we love to see them out there enjoying themselves!

We are always looking for new volunteers and we are especially in need of Corporate Sponsorship, as this is what helps the Foundation continue in providing for our local kids.

If you’re interested in helping out with sponsorship or volunteering, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or find me at our Twitter page @GilReadMemorial and I’d be happy to talk to you!

Thank You for your continued support and I hope to see you at the Ball Park for some great Fastball for a great cause!