Ladysmith Madness doing it for the kids

Ladysmith Madness hosting slo-pitch tournament to raise money for Easter Seals June 16-17 at Aggie Field.

Members of the Ladysmith Madness pose with their Gilligan’s Island-themed attire

Members of the Ladysmith Madness pose with their Gilligan’s Island-themed attire

On June 16 and 17, the Ladysmith Madness will host its 12th [almost] annual slo-pitch tournament at Aggie Field to benefit children with disabilities.

For the past 14 years since its inception, the Madness has hosted the tournament to raise money for the Easter Seals 24-Hour Relay for the Kids. To date, Madness team members have raised more than $100,000.

The Lions Society uses  funds raised during the 24-Hour Relay to operate Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan. It is a special camp tailored to kids with disabilities to allow them the opportunity to experience summer camp as other children do.

“It’s a fully-funded camp so the families don’t have to pay any money,” explained Kerrie Vockeroth, captain and co-founder of Ladysmith Madness. “The kids look forward to it.”

Because this year’s 24-Hour Relay event was moved up to the first weekend of June [it generally takes place in the last weeks of June], the slo-pitch tournament proceeds will not make Ladysmith Madness’ 2012 total, which was just over $5,000. It will, however, be put toward next year’s total, noted Vockeroth.

Vockeroth said the relay, which took place June 2-3, was a memorable experience for the 12 team members able to make the event in Victoria. The grand total raised by the participating 58 teams over the weekend was $464,402.

The team took first place in the “best decorated camp” contest for the third year in a row, for its Gilligan’s Island-themed campsite.

“We made a full island and four huts and water and sand and had props,” Vockeroth said.

The Ladysmith Madness slo-pitch tournament runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days and is open to all teams. Funds are raised through the team entry fee of $200, and there are currently six teams signed up.

Funds are also raised through a concession operated by the Ladysmith Lions Club, with food provided by Ladysmith Madness. The Ladysmith Kinsmen Club also donates proceeds from beer garden sales at the tournament.

“It’s a really fun event,” Vockeroth said. “If you can’t play, come out and watch. It’s all local area teams that play.”

There are currently about 18 members on the Ladysmith Madness team, but there is always room for more.

“Even though it’s a relay, we’re not very athletic; we’re not a running team, we’re just in it for the fundraising,” laughed Vockeroth. “It’s about meeting new people and raising money for a good cause.”

To sign up or inquire about the slo-pitch tournament or the  Ladysmith Madness, e-mail Kerrie Vockeroth at kervoc@yahoo.ca