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Pitch-in for Fallen Heroes: Volunteers needed to help make fundraising Kings County ball tournament a success

A group photo from the 2015 Fallen Heroes Softball Tournament. It’s hoped this year’s event will be the biggest yet.
A group photo from the 2015 Fallen Heroes Softball Tournament. It’s hoped this year’s event will be the biggest yet. - Contributed

Volunteers are needed to help out at this year’s Fallen Heroes Softball Tournament.

The sixth annual tournament is taking place July 5-7 in four locations in Kings County in honour of Kyle Currie, a Halifax-area firefighter. The main event is being held in Kentville at Memorial Park, with other games being held in Port Williams, New Minas, and Berwick.

This co-ed fundraiser, held each year in Kings County, began as a memorial to the RCMP officers who were killed in the line of duty in Moncton in June 2014. RCMP Const. Nick MacLean, the event's organizer, says the tournament was first held about a month after the officers were shot.

“That first year, we raised almost $15,000 towards an education fund to benefit the children of the slain officers,” he said. “Twenty teams registered, with about 200 participants.”

MacLean, who was then working with the RCMP in New Minas, was among the first officers to be sent to Moncton in the hours after Const. Doug Larche, Const. Dave Ross and Const. Fabrice Gevaudan were killed.

This tragedy reminded the community of the dangers police and emergency responders face in the line of duty. It sparked an outpouring of support for the grieving families as people across the country offered their back-up to those officers who answer the calls in their darkest hours.

Making a difference

Each year since, the Fallen Heroes Tournament recognizes an officer, or emergency responder, who died in the line of duty. Halifax firefighter Kyle Currie is being honoured this year.

Like too many heroes, Currie took his own life during a dark moment likely triggered by post-traumatic stress. Funds raised will benefit the Valley Hospice and the annual Kyle Currie Memorial Golf Classic, a fund that helps raise awareness in support of mental health research, education, and resources for first responders.

Last year, Fallen Heroes raised funds for the War Amps, in honour of Francis Deschênes, the RCMP officer killed near Memramcook, N.B. while he was helping two people change a flat tire on the Trans-Canada Highway.

To date, the annual tournament has raised almost $60,000, benefiting a number of charities, each in honour of a police officer or an emergency responder who died as a result of their work. This year promises to be the biggest event to date, with 31 teams and about 450 participants registered.

Volunteers needed

MacLean says that while a record number of participants have stepped up, volunteers are now needed to make the event an over-the-top success.

“There’s a lot to do,” he said. “We need people at the canteen, the T-shirt and beer tent and the barbecue. We want this to be the biggest fundraiser to date.”

The Fallen Heroes Softball Tournament takes place July 5-7. For more information, visit the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/FallenHeroesSoftball/

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