The Andrew Pereman Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament will return to Squamish this summer after having to take a year off due to COVID-19.Starting Aug. 21, the tournament will be hosted at Hendrickson Field in honour of Pereman, who died from an accidental fall in 2012. This will be the ninth tournament to have taken place since his passing, said Jason Merriam, the organizer of the tournament.
The tournament started with fewer teams but has since grown.“We started at a maximum of 12 originally. And then we moved to 16, but I might even have to extend it to 18,” Merriam said.
“I've already got 16 teams and two other teams that want to join.”Merriam said this year the price for a team to enter is $400 and a portion of the fee goes toward a fund set up for Pereman’s two daughters, Montana and Paisley.
Natalie Pereman, Andrew's widow, said that through the years the tournament has raised about $10,000 for her daughters.
While Pereman and her daughters moved away from Squamish a few years ago, she said she tries to make the tournaments but it can be challenging.
“For us, coming down there, it’s actually really hard,” she said. “I still can’t play ball. It’s too hard for me still nine years later.”
Despite that difficulty, Pereman said she is grateful that the tournament continues to be played.“It's really important that we support the people and acknowledge the people that still remember him, and to really be so thankful for not only the memories and that people are continuing to play ball in his honour, but also for the funds that have been raised for [Montana and Paisley] to be able to help them go to university,” she said.
“I'm just so grateful for that. It’s amazing, really.”And, Pereman said while there is a cash prize for first and second place sometimes the teams donate the prize money back to her daughters’ fund.
Because of her late husband’s personality, Natalie said it just seemed natural that a slo-pitch tournament be played in his honour.“Whoever he met, he befriended them,” she said. “He was just one of those people when he walked into a room, people knew who he was and his smile and his laugh.”
“And then just being such a genuine good guy, extremely sportsmanlike, but also a really good ballplayer. It only seemed fitting that there would be a tournament that would be put on by his friends and teammates to keep his memory alive.”To learn more information about the tournament, you can visit the Facebook page.