It’s not uncommon for a business to have a bowling, softball or other sports team playing throughout the year. Many are just a fun past time for after work, but there are occasions when a sporting event becomes an excellent opportunity to raise funds for charitable organizations. And one office of World Financial Group associates in Alberta, Canada found that raising money is fun and heartwarming.

In 2010, this WFG group led by Ron Buchaski sponsored the second annual “Richard Cender Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament”.  This event, named after the tournament’s founder who passed away in April of 2010, is a slow pitch softball tournament to raise funds for the Elves Special Needs Society.

Founded in 1973, the Elves Special Needs Society is named for Milton E. Elves, an Edmonton entrepreneur, who, upon his passing, requested that some of his money be used to create “a suitable hospital, convalescent home, clinic or rehabilitation center for the treatment of physically handicapped children.” Today, the Elves Special Needs Society has facilities for children, youths and adults who have conditions including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), autism and other disabilities. More than 200 families each year are assisted through these programs.

The Elves Special Needs Society is dependent on donations to procure the necessary equipment to operate efficiently.  In 2009, donations raised from the first softball tournament went to purchase a portable lift designed to transport those unable to bathe or use the restroom without motorized assistance. In 2010, 28 teams from across Edmonton played in the tournament, raising more than $30,000 for the Society. 

This year’s tournament is scheduled August 19-21 at the Lede Park ball diamonds in Leduc, AB.  Visit this Facebook page to learn how to sign up.  To learn more about the Elves Special Needs Society, please visit their website at www.elves-society.com.  And to learn more about World Financial Group, visit the World Financial Group website. 

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