Yampa Valley Young Professionals plan softball fundraiser | CraigDailyPress.com

Yampa Valley Young Professionals plan softball fundraiser

Registration deadline is on Friday

Michael Neary

The inaugural Balls Out Co-ed Softball Tournament hosted by Yampa Valley Young Professionals will take place July 23 and 24 at Loudy-Simpson Park. The weekend sporting event is a fundraiser for further projects by the group.

— The group Yampa Valley Young Professionals is taking registrations for the first annual Balls Out Co-ed Softball Tournament. It's a fundraiser designed to help the young community group continue to grow.

"Since we're such a new group, we don't have the money to do the things that we want to do," said member Amanda Tomlinson.

"And we thought a softball tournament would be a fun way to (raise money)," added member Tori Pingley.

The registration deadline for the two-day tournament is on Friday. The cost is $200 per team, with between 10 and 14 members per squad, and with balanced numbers of men and women. Tomlinson and Pingley also noted a path for individuals to sign up.

"If there are individuals out there looking for a team, they can get hold of us and we can help them," Pingley said.

Tomlinson said people looking for a team can also post on the group's Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/YampaValleyYoungProfessionals.

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People interested in the tournament can call Tomlinson at 970-629-8578 or Pingley at 970-629-2544.

The tournament is scheduled to start at 7 a.m on Saturday, July 23 at Loudy-Simpson Park with pool play, followed by a single elimination tournament on Sunday, July 24. Players must be 18 years old or older — or 14 to 18 years old with parental consent.

The tournament’s structure is subject to change, organizers say, depending on registration and other factors.

Tomlinson contemplated some of the things the group might do as it raises money through events such as the softball tournament. She mentioned community dinners, cleanups, special events, comedy, music and other sort of activities.

"(They're) things that you can put on for the community without having to extend that cost to the community, necessarily," she said. "We've also talked about scholarships in the future."

Both Pingley and Tomlinson are experienced softball players. They played for 17 years in the Craig Softball Association, which is not in operation this year, and they're currently playing on a co-ed softball team in Steamboat Springs.

Tomlinson observed the way softball can create a friendly atmosphere for socializing.

"When we had our softball league here, people would come just to hang out and watch — and to see their pals," she said.

Pingley emphasized, too, the overall importance of the Yampa Valley Young Professionals in the community.

"We are the future of this community, and if we want to see changes happening, we ought to be the ones doing them," Pingley said.

The Yampa Valley Young Professionals recently kicked off the activities for the community’s Friday Fest events by organizing a dinner and entertainment. Friday Fest, coordinated by the Craig Downtown Business Association, includes a panoply of different activities throughout the summer.

Kirstie McPherson, founding member of Yampa Valley Young Professionals, noted that projects such as the softball tournament all trace back to what most intrigues members — and what they're willing to craft into reality. She envisioned other activities in the future that could bring people together and let them cultivate their lifestyle interests.

"It hinges on the individual interests of members," McPherson said, calling Tomlinson and Pingley “rock stars" for organizing the softball initiative.

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.