The "Do Better" softball tournament to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health held its first annual tournament in Langdon last weekend!
Tournament organizer Regan Turner and her family experienced a tragedy she hopes nobody ever has to face, as seven years ago her brother Adam passed away due to suicide. Softball was something Regan and Adam loved to do together, so for Regan, hosting a softball tournament to honor his memory was something she always wanted to do.
"When Adam passed seven years ago, I said I wanted to do a memorial tournament for him and raise funds for suicide awareness and men's mental health. It took me a while to do it because of the emotions of losing my brother."
The community came together in a huge way to remember Adam and raise awareness for suicide prevention.
"It was amazing, I was overwhelmed and delighted and a lot of tears were shed. It really made my heart happy to see hopefully we were making an impact and that they were coming out for a great cause. I'm so proud of the community for the donations that they put forward."
The tournament raised $4,778, which far exceeded Regan's expectations. That money will be going straight to the Centre For Suicide Prevention. While raising the money for the centre was a big part of the tournament, Regan added it's really important that people are talking about this. She said many people are impacted by suicide, but it's not talked about, which means the problem and the pain aren't being addressed.
"It's not talked about. A lot of people, when I tell them my brother passed by suicide they clam up, and they think that we don't want to talk about it. But talking about it heals, and talking about it spreads education that you can still get help and you don't have to take that way out. Because all that pain and all that darkness that you feel, that the world is just better off without you, that pain is transferred off into your loved ones who are left behind."
Adam's friends showed up as a team, but Regan said many people that didn't know Adam also came to help spread the message, which she was very happy to see.
"We wanted to really make note of it and promote it that it's ok to talk and it's ok to get help."
August 23 would've been his 40th birthday, which made it the perfect time to host the tournament for Adam.
"He always had a big party right before his birthday so what better time to do that tournament?"
Regan wanted the tournament to be a fun way to celebrate Adam's life and raise awareness for mental health, which is why she chose a softball tournament. She added that this tournament was given a special flare to make it unique.
"We added in some special 'Turner' rules just based on Adam's personality and his fun antics he would do as a kid and adult to add some fun into the game."
These rules included things like the "Speedos are for heroes" rule, where if you wore a speedo during the game you would get three at-bat mulligans.
This was the first annual "Do Better" tournament, and Regan hopes to bring it back next year and grow it. She was really happy with the community support and the five teams that came, and she hopes to double that for next year with ten teams.
"We want to make this an annual event to raise money every year under Adam's name for the center of suicide prevention."
Overall, this tournament was a fun way to spread a very important message: you're never alone, your loved ones will always be there to support you, and it's important to talk about serious issues like mental health and suicide to prevent these tragedies from happening.
"I think Adam would be smiling down pretty happy about it."
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