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Light It Up tournament raises funds for Coventry Park diamond

August 16, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The bats were swinging and there was a lot of base running at the annual Tottenham Old-Timer’s Slo-Pitch League Light It Up tournament held at Coventry Park in Tottenham on August 9 -11.

The tournament raised funds to have lights installed at diamond number one in the park.

Currently two of the three diamonds at Coventry Park have lighting allowing for evening games.

The League is pledging to raise $50,000 to go toward having the lights installed.

“This is a tournament our league, the Tottenham Old Timer’s, puts on every year,” explained tournament organizer Paul Piellusch. “It’s always been a fundraising tournament but we have a special component today. Tonight, we’re having an event with three bands playing and we have corn that has been donated by local farmers. There’s free corn and free admission. We’re raising money for Light It Up. Light It Up is a group of community people working to get lights installed at that first diamond that you walk by when you enter the park. In our League we have 17 teams and over 200 players. I have spoke on behalf of our organization to Town Council about getting the lights and they agreed to do it. They put it in this year’s budget.”

The Town is contributing $150,000 to the project and with the addition of the funds raise through this and past tournaments, the total will come to around $200,000.

The electrical system conduits are already in place for a new lighting system. That was put into place when the lights were installed at the first two diamonds.

Tottenham Old-Timer’s Slo-Pitch League president, Doug Dwyer, said the League is so popular they have a waiting list, however with limited playing time and diamonds they are currently unable to expand the League.

“We’ve been fundraising for two years. We made a presentation to the Town and followed up a couple of times. Our presentation was – if we get you $50,000 will you pay the rest? We’ve been fundraising for two years and after this weekend we’ll probably make that happen. The whole community is coming together on this. When we go and ask for something for the cause we get a really good response. As much as we want this lighting for our League, there’s also the Sunday night men’s league, the woman’s league, minor ball, it helps everyone. Our League is the biggest league in town but we have been stuck now for three years because we are unable to grow. We have 17 teams and there has been all this new development that has happened but we can’t bring more people into our league because we have no more nighttime diamonds. Once we get this done we can expand the League and invite those people in. We’ll be up to 20 teams with no problem.”

Anyone who lives in Tottenham knows how popular slo-pitch is and all summer long you can hear the activity at local diamonds as games are underway.

A total of 18 teams both local and from other towns took part in the tournament which feature men’s teams as well as mixed teams.

The current plan is to start the work on installing the new lights in October / November with completion by the end of the year.


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