by LAURA KEIL
Bringing the community together in a positive way in the face of tragedy – that was the impetus behind the original Joey Lussier Memorial Kickball Tournament weekend.
When Jacki Lussier lost her husband Joey three years ago, she says it meant a lot to see the community rally behind her.
“I know how much it helped me to see the community come together when I needed it,” she says. “I want to share that when people are in need themselves.”
Lussier has made the tournament an annual event, with the fundraiser now in its third year. The money raised is now dispersed to other people in need.
Last year the money raised went to Jennifer Martens, who used the money for treatment but who died of cancer at the end October. Lussier says this year the money is being placed into an account for the next person who needs treatment or who has experienced tragedy.
“We’ll have some cash up front to help that person in need,” Lussier says.
It’s not just Joey in the hearts of those who participated last weekend. All four teams were named in honour of loved ones lost – Team Lussier after Joey, The Tijuana Kickers named in honour of Martens and Dommer Doos team A & B named after Dominic Meek.
Lussier says it looks like the event will become a memorial weekend for many people.
Some 50-60 people came out for this year’s event despite soggy weather. That included four teams. The winning team was Team Lussier and second place went to Dommer Doos team B.
Teams had to brave a new event this year – a silly relay race which included such things as wheelbarrows, skis, and pin-the-tail on the picture.
Lussier, who is the main organizer, doesn’t yet have a full tally of money raised. She says other important volunteers this year include Roxanne Martens, and Reg and Staci McNee.