Friday, 24 August 2018 06:44

SCMB fundraiser a one-time event to add infrastructure

Written by  Andrea Carol
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Ernie Whitt will be a guest speaker for a Swift Current Minor Ball fundraiser Ernie Whitt will be a guest speaker for a Swift Current Minor Ball fundraiser Photo contributed

With over 335 young ball players registered with Swift Current Minor Baseball League (SCMB), and the addition of the AA program to the already successful, AAA program, the league’s washroom facilities can no longer keep up with the increasing demand.


With only two washrooms available, the SCMB Board decided to host a washroom expansion fundraiser this year.
It will be held in conjunction with the Annual Awards Night on September 4th at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex’s auditorium.
“We have over 330 ball players in in minor ball and we only have two bathrooms, one female and one male bathroom. With the addition of AA Teams to our AAA Program we have many kids playing every weekend in Swift Current from the last weekend in April to the last weekend in August. We don’t have the facilities to accommodate that much baseball in Swift Current. It worked fine 20 years ago when there was only one or two AAA Teams that would travel and now with a AA Team and a AAA Team in every division, it’s pretty difficult,” said Louis Cherpin, SCMB board member. “Four years ago, we started an awards night and this year, we decided along with the awards night to award special ball players and coaches in the community, we thought we would also throw in a fundraiser so we could raise the necessary funds to add three more washrooms to the male and female side on our building on 19th Ave NE.”
The league needs to raise approximately $25,000 in order to cover the construction costs of adding three more bathrooms in the facility. The SCMB board did some brainstorming and came up with an idea.
“We put our heads together and we decided this was just going to be a one-time thing because we don’t want to take away from the Field of Dreams Fundraiser for the 57’s. We are just doing it so we can raise money for a one-time thing for a bathroom fundraiser. Work estimated is going to be about a $25,000 cost,” said Cherpin.
That’s not all. The league is also bringing Toronto Blue Jays legend and Team Canada Coach, Ernie Whitt to the stage as the keynote speaker that night.
“We are bringing in one of the best-known all-time Toronto Blue Jay, Ernie Whitt. He’s going to come in and be our guest speaker. He played, I think, 12 years with the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the Team Canada Head Coach for the baseball team. He has lots of stories,” said Cherpin. “We are pretty happy to be able to get Ernie Whitt to come in.”
Ernie Whitt amassed close to 1,000 hits and over 125 Home Runs over a 16 year MLB career while playing for four teams including the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles. He was a MLB All-Star in 1985 and was a member of the original Blue Jays squad upon expansion to MLB in 1977. He was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. As manager of the Canadian National Baseball Team, he competed in the 2004 Olympic Games, four World Baseball Classic Tournaments and the Pan-Am Games winning Gold in 2011 and 2015.
Last year he was named to Sportsnet’s list of the Top 40 Greatest Blue Jays of All-Time.
Cherpin is hopeful  the league receive support from the community through silent auction donations and corporate sponsorships to raise enough money to cover construction costs. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m.; awards night 7 p.m. and guest speaker at 8 p.m. Ticket Prices: Pee Wee & Under (13 years old) $20 and Bantam & over (14 years old) $25. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Louis at 306-741-7913.

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