John Topping (left)

John Topping (left)

Cup finds home

The Nick Alexis Cup will have a permanent home in the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.

The Vernon Thunder have their name on the gorgeous, towering trophy three times. The Lordco Steelers of Trail won it twice in a row in the mid-1990s and the Modesto Merchants carried it back to California once back in ‘89.

The Vancouver Diamonds were the first winners in 1985. Now, the Nick Alexis Cup will have a permanent home in the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.

The trophy was presented annually to the champion of the competitive division in the Funtastic co-ed slo-pitch tournament. The division was scrapped in 2002 and the award has not been handed out since.

“Nick Alexis was a major player in the creation of the Funtastic Sports Festival which officially began in the summer of 1985,” said founder and former Funtastic president John Topping. “Initial planning took place a year earlier in Nick’s Kandy Kitchen with Nick Alexis, Frank Williamson and myself, hammering out the details over many cups of coffee.

“Soon after, Stuart Fleming, Mike Wardlow, Ken McCluskey, Bob Anderson and Brian Willows joined the planning committee.”

Alexis, a big community sports booster who started the hall of fame in Centotaph Park, and his wife, Helen, purchased a trophy in 1984 to be awarded to the Funtastic champion.

“The Funtastic Alumni are delighted to present this historical piece of nostalgia to the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.”

Topping said the hardware has been stored in his basement since the 25th Funtastic Alumni celebration at the Deer Park Restaurant.

“We found the annual trophy while looking for nostalgia artifacts, gathering dust in the Funtastic storage in the basement of the Vernon Winter Carnival Office.”

Ron Candy, curator of the Vernon Museum, and manager of the Hall of Fame, said the Nick Alexis Cup will be on view at the museum and later moved to the Wesbild Centre – home of the shrine – when more display cases are built.