By Trevor Busch
The Town of Taber has agreed to waive diamond costs and camping fees associated with a charity slo-pitch tournament hosted during the 2015 Cornfest celebrations in August.
“Our charity ball tournament, which is now called Angels in the Outfield, was formerly known as the Cornfest Classic,” said head organizer Scott Takaguchi. “We have been running this ball tournament for quite a few years separate from Cornfest. This year is the first year — we’re very excited — we’re going to be officially part of Cornfest.”
At their June 22 meeting, town council voted 5-2 to approve the community grant application – council discretionary fund for the 2015 Angels in the Outfield Tournament, with the funding source from the accumulated surplus. Coun.(s) Randy Sparks and Joe Strojwas opposed the motion.
In a follow-up motion, council voted unanimously that all recreation facility community grant applications request go to the recreation board prior to council for the remainder of 2015.
The Angels in the Outfield delegation had approached the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce Cornfest Committee regarding the possibility of sponsorship or inclusion for the tournament that is held annually at Ken McDonald Memorial Sportsfield Complex. The chamber’s Cornfest committee has already provided a letter of support for the event. Funds raised through the tournament will be in support of Lethbridge’s neo-natal intensive care unit.
“Basically what we’re trying to do is raise funds, and provide it hopefully to the Chinook Health Region to purchase new equipment, update equipment, and support the neo-natal intensive care unit,” said Takaguchi. “We originally talked to CHR to have it focused more into the Taber region, because that’s where we’re from, and that’s where we originally went, but according to CHR rules, they have to delegate where most of the neo-natal intensive care staff will be, and that’s Lethbridge. They do cover all of southern Alberta, and are very supportive of what we’re doing.”
The organizers of the tournament were requesting consideration of an allocation from the council discretionary fund to waive the cost of the rental fees for their tournament, including diamond rentals and camp site costs, amounting to a total of $1,979.50.
“We’ve run this tournament before, but this is the first time we’re doing it as a charity,” said Takaguchi, who noted 15 of 16 possible teams have already been confirmed. “We do have a lot of experience, and we do have a lot of volunteers to help out.”