22 years for 'Glove, Sweat & Cheers: Safe at Home'

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BRATTLEBORO >> The 22nd Annual "Glove, Sweat and Cheers: Safe at Home" women's softball tournament will be held Saturday, July 9th, at Living Memorial Park. The women's slow-pitch softball tournament raises money for the Women's Freedom Center through team and player fees, tournament sponsorship, concession and raffle sales.

Teams from around New England will vie for top honors in this double elimination tournament. Games will be played on both upper and lower fields beginning at 8:30 a.m. on July 9. Updated schedules will be posted at each field.

"Glove, Sweat and Cheers: Safe at Home" switched to a one-day tournament format in 2015. The new format was a big hit, particularly with out-of-town teams. It was so successful, the 2016 tournament will host the largest number of teams in many years, including four travel teams.

Volunteers will be grilling and selling food at the upper field. Concessions stands offering tournament merchandise, 50-50 raffle tickets, snacks and beverages will be open at both fields.

This is a family friendly event. There are no entrance fees for spectators. The Memorial Park swim area will be open for those who need to cool down and the park has several playgrounds for kids of all ages.

Founded in the early '70s, The Women's Freedom Center's mission is to end domestic and sexual violence against women and children by providing support to survivors and education for the community. Services include a 24-hour hotline, shelter for women and children, legal and medical advocacy, community outreach and education. All services are free. Volunteer-based fundraising is critical to these continued efforts. Last year's Glove, Sweat and Cheers tournament generated nearly $4,000 for the Women's Freedom Center. Organizers hope to surpass that total this year.

"This really is a community event, from the first planning meeting to the last out of the last game," says event volunteer Cyndi Cain Fitzgerald. "When we hit our 20th Anniversary we planned for that year to be our last. To our delight, the community insisted that we carry on this tradition. New volunteers were recruited, new sponsors stepped up to offer support and here we are in our 22nd year going stronger than ever. We like to say that 'we will provide the gloves and sweat, but we need our community to provide the cheers!'"

Volunteers are always welcome to join the effort. There are tasks to suit all ages and abilities. Contact glovesweatcheers@gmail.com for information about volunteer opportunities.

Those who are unable to attend the tournament are encouraged to consider making a donation directly to the Women's Freedom Center at P.O. Box 933 Brattleboro, VT, or by calling 257-7364.


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