‘It was a great run’

After 23 years, Ike Cof­fin and his com­mit­tee de­cide to end an­nual co-ed tour­na­ment

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY DAVE STE­WART THE GUARDIAN dave.ste­wart@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

Ike Cof­fin says the end of July is go­ing to feel a lot dif­fer­ent this year.

After 23 years, Cof­fin and his com­mit­tee have de­cided to end the an­nual co-ed slo-pitch tour­na­ment that raised money and aware­ness of mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy.

The tour­na­ment was al­ways held on the fi­nal week­end of July.

“All good things have to come to an end some­time so, after 23 years – suc­cess­ful years – the com­mit­tee and my­self de­cided it’s time,’’ Cof­fin told The Guardian on Thurs­day. “It was a big part of my year at the end of July. It’ll be a week­end to sit back and think about 23 years.’’

The tour­na­ment, which was held at di­a­monds in Mount Ste­wart, Peakes and Tra­cadie Cross, brought in about $350,000 over its ten­ure.

While the money raised has been a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to­wards bat­tling mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy, Cof­fin, who was di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease at age 14, looks back with pride on the aware­ness the event cre­ated.

“Over the years it’s been so awe­some. We started to raise a lit­tle bit of money and cre­ate aware­ness about mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy and, in the end, we did that and that’s the most im­por­tant thing, the aware­ness and just gen­er­ally get­ting to­gether as a com­mu­nity. It was very much a com­mu­ni­ty­ori­ented event.’’

Cof­fin said as time went on, run­ning the tour­na­ment got to be a bit much.

“Years ago, you didn’t have to worry about in­sur­ance and all that stuff. We were lucky. As time goes on it be­came a lot more work for the event to come off.’’

Cof­fin, who launched the tour­na­ment with friends and fel­low com­mit­tee mem­bers Vin Mor­ri­son and Kent MacDon­ald, stepped down as chair­man fol­low­ing the 2013 event.

Cof­fin’s wife, Anne, has also been a driv­ing force be­hind the tour­na­ment.

“In the start, it was a bunch of great friends and then as time went on it was an­other bunch of great friends and they did a great job. Then, of course, I got mar­ried to Anne in 2000 and she be­came a very big part of the tour­na­ment. With­out her we wouldn’t have been able to do and ac­com­plish what we did.’’

The Mount Ste­wart and East River fire de­part­ments also pitched in. Over the last few years, East River has held a two-night camp cam­pout on top of the Scotch­fort Ul­tra­mar to raise money.

“We’ve had fab­u­lous sup­port.’’

Cof­fin said he can’t thank his wife, the com­mit­tee, friends and com­mu­nity enough for the sup­port over the years.

“It was a great run . . . I just can’t say enough.’’


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