MJLAX to name Pee Wee tournament after Sauder
The YaraCentre was filled with players and spectators for the Kenny Stewart Memorial Classic on Saturday.
© Matthew Gourlie
Frank Davalos, organizer of the Kenny Stewart Memorial Classic, helps organize the players in the Tyke and Mini-Tyke game which kicked off the tournament Saturday at YaraCentre.
By Katie Brickman
There was a mix of emotions for the local lacrosse community — excitement of bringing everyone together in one location, but sadness as they paid tribute to two fallen brothers.
“There was definitely some excitement from our alumni group and juniors,” stated Bobbi Ingalls, a co-organizer of the event. “People started getting emotional after the games were finalized.”
Stewart died in a single vehicle accident on Nov. 15 just outside of Regina. The event was organized by Frank Davolos and Ingalls to honour Stewart and to raise funds for his family — his wife Courtney and their three young children.
“You could tell that everyone was moved, but they put on their best faces,” said Ingalls. “Courtney had all of her Montgomery family there. It was emotional, but very exhilarating and it was fun. It was really special. It is hard to describe how special it was.”
The evening came together quickly after staff at the YaraCentre read a blog post by Davolos and donated the field for four hours. There were three pick-up games played as well as a silent auction and other small events.
“I absolutely had no expectations going into it. The only expectation I had is that we wanted to raise funds,” explained Ingalls. “I didn’t exactly have a goal, but once our silent auction started coming in and the donations came in and we started raising more awareness, I knew it was going to be bigger. When we set out to do it, there was no major role other than that we wanted to pay tribute and this was the best way we could do it.”
There were approximately 75 players that signed up to participate in the games, which resulted in $1,400 being raised and they also raised over $1,085 through donations at the door from just spectators.
“That added with our 50/50, raffles, toonie toss, personal donations and the silent auction, we raised quite a bit of money for them,” stated Ingalls. “It goes directly in trust for the kids to Courtney.”
The lacrosse community also honoured Christopher Sauder who died in a single vehicle accident in October.
“The juniors that came out to play were all of Christopher’s friends and they played with him all the way up,” said Ingalls. “There was definitely something that was quite driven about all the athletes. They were driven and moved.”
Moose Jaw Lacrosse will also be naming the Pee Wee tournament after Sauder.
With Saturday being such a successful event, the organizers are planning on turning this into an annual event, but on Boxing Day when everyone is around the area.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this will be an annual event. It may be not a fundraiser in that respect, but it will be a memorial classic to get all of our alumni together,” said Ingalls. “We have already talked to YaraCentre about it and they are in total support with us, as they always have.”
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