This weekend, starting on Saturday, Interpipeline Fund will once again be hosting its annual company slo-pitch tournament in Lacombe.
The annual ball tournament is a social event for Interpipeline Fund, but thanks to the initiative by Ron Brenton, one of Interpipeline Fund’s employees and an organizer for the event, it has now become a source of income for a few organizations in Lacombe as well.
For the last seven years Interpipeline Fund has been hosting its annual ball tournament in Lacombe. Brenton said that that Lacombe was chosen because it is a good central location for the company, which has employees from all over the province as well as into Saskatchewan. About 200 employees and their families come to the City annually for the tournament.
Each year, an organizing committee comes up with a different idea on how to work out the logistics of holding the tournament.
This year, with Brenton as one of the organizers, he decided to go in a different direction. He said that if Lacombe was going to continue to be the home of the company’s tournament why not partner with groups in the community to try and keep as much money as possible in the City.
“If we are going to be there year after year to become familiar with the community,” he said.
In previous years, organizers of the event have delegated responsibilities of bringing resources and services into Lacombe from outside the community. Brenton decided that it would be better for the company to partner with the community and utilize the services and resources that are already there. That way, the money spent on the tournament actually stays in Lacombe.
The reaction from Lacombe has been “Nothing short of stupendous.” He added that through the City of Lacombe as well as friends he has in the community, Brenton has been able to connect with local organizations to provide the resources the tournament requires. For example, the local Co-Op food and liquor stores to provide food and beverages for the event.
Accommodations are also necessary for the tournament. While many of the company’s employees choose to camp at Michener Park, the Greenway and Country Club Inns are also utilized, said Brenton.
In addition, Lacombe and District Big Brothers Big Sisters will also be on hand to help out by looking after and providing some entertainment for kids while their parents are playing ball. In return, Interpipeline Fund will be making a cheque donation as well as holding raffles to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters at the tournament.
As it is a ball tournament and there is bound to be several beverage containers leftover at the end of it. Brenton said any funds from bottle and can collections will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District as well.
He added he hopes the partnerships formed this year will continue in future years with the tournament. He said he is more than impressed with the response the initiative has received.
“They have been so supportive of us,” said Brenton. “I’m just amazed and tickled pink that they came on board with us so easily.”