The 39th Annual Chance Crawford Benefit Softball Tournament takes place this weekend, April 12-14, throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge region.
The highly successful charitable tournament is a regional effort put on by the cities of Salem and Roanoke and the counties of Roanoke and Botetourt. Entries have increased for this year’s tournament with 180 teams from nine different states set to compete.
In 38 years, the tournament has taken in over $800,000, and put that money right back in the hands of individuals with health problems, as well as deserving college students who need financial assistance. These funds are also used to help support youth sports throughout the greater Roanoke Valley. In 2018 alone, the tournament handed out over $20,000 to deserving individuals and organizations.
Games are scheduled for the James I. Moyer Sports Complex – the tournament headquarters, the Botetourt Sports Complex and fields at the Salem Civic Center, Arnold R. Burton, Whispering Pines, Wasena Park, Huff Lane, Norwich Field and Oakey’s Field. This year’s event will feature the following divisions – Men’s Upper, Men’s D, Men’s E, Men’s Recreation, Women’s Division and Coed.
The Chance Crawford Softball Tournament began in the spring of 1981 to help a young Salem High School quarterback, Chance Crawford, who suffered a spinal cord injury during one of his football games. The purpose of the original event was to raise money to help Chance and his family with the expenses of his education, physical therapy and other medical needs due to his injury.
After Chance graduated from college, he was elected Clerk of Court for the City of Salem and the Chance Crawford Tournament Committee decided to continue the tournament in his honor, but use the proceeds from the tournament to help those in need in the community with their own medical and education expenses.
Participants and fans will have the chance to win a Yeti Tundra 65 cooler that has been donated by Northwest Ace Hardware. All proceeds from the cooler raffle will benefit the foundation and people do not need to be present to win.
For more information, contact Salem Parks and Recreation at (540) 375-3057 or contact the Tournament Director Scott Scharnus at email@example.com.
- Submitted by Mike Stevens, City of Communications Director