Rain can’t win at Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament

Cooler, inclement weather does nothing to dampen spirits of Vernon, Enderby participants

An on-deck batter takes aim at the papparazzi during Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament action in Vernon Friday. (Tobias Frederiksen/Morning Star)

Mother Nature had her ideas.

The Funtastic Sports Society had theirs.

Try her best, Ma Nature kept things cool — well, cooler than last year’s scorching heat — and added some rain, lightning, wind and thunder to the 34th annual Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament and Music Festival in Vernon and Enderby over the holiday weekend.

But the wet and cool weather did nothing to diminish the spirit of participants.

“Everything went really well, it was fantastic,” said an exhausted society president Rob Ellis Tuesday morning. “The event was marred, somewhat, by Mother Nature, but we dealt with all of the issues successfully.”

No games were rained out as a result of the inclement weather with teams and players persevering.

The A&W Music Festival at the Vernon Army Camp, which featured local bands Friday, country music Saturday and tribute acts Sunday, had a 50-minute shutdown Saturday evening as organizers let a storm front move through before proceeding.

The evening ended with a great performance by Canadian country music kings The Road Hammers.

“Everybody was happy with the music lineup,” said Ellis. “We knocked it out of the park on that one.”

Sunday’s tribute acts featured tributes to AC/DC, Aerosmith and The Tragically Hip.

There were a couple of special softball events held during the tournament in Vernon.

RELATED: Vernon’s Funtastic ready to rock

A celebrity game Saturday featured local big-name stars playing No F In Talent, a team from Port Coquitlam that has been making the trip over the Coquihalla to play in Funtastic for the past 16 years.

Celebrities who took part in the game — won handily by the talent-laden No F In Talent — included losing pitcher, Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund; former NHL stars Dean McAmmond and Sandy Moger; current Vernon Vipers head coach Mark Ferner and former head coach Troy Mick; seven-time B.C. men’s curling champion Jim Cotter; Vernon ultra marathon sensation Shanda Hill, who swung a softball bat for the first time in her life; and Morning Star sports editor Kevin Mitchell.

Funtastic founder, and Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame member, John Topping threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The game helped raise funds for North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society programs.

Sunday, a home run derby was held to help raise funds for KidSport Vernon. The event featured 47 entries with the winners blasting eight out of 10 pitches over the fence at DND 5.

“Balls littered the air that afternoon,” said Ellis, who said feedback for the 34th annual tournament has been nothing but positive.

“All of us on the executive received nothing but positive comments throughout the weekend,” he said. “Lots of teams and players said it’s the best event ever.”

RELATED: Armstrong Funtastic streak ends

A number of teams have already registered for the 35th annual tournament in 2019.


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Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of ball players taking part in the Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament over the Canada Day long weekend in Vernon and Enderby. (Tobias Frederiksen/Morning Star)

Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament founder John Topping throws out the ceremonial first pitch at the event’s celebrity game Saturday at DND 5 in Vernon. (Funtastic photo)

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