When Benson Munch was organizing the annual Erickson Morgan Memorial Ball Tournament, he knew it had to go further in 2021.
The wildland firefighter was able to raise over $2,000 for Lytton evacuees.
“It’s literally my duty to step up,” Munch said. “If I’m not on that fire line, I need to be able to do something for them.”
The town of Lytton was nearly completely destroyed by a wildfire that started on June 30. As luck would have it, Munch was deployed to Kamloops and was able to deliver the donations directly to the evacuees at the Kamloops Powwow grounds.
“It was emotional,” Munch said. “I had to tell her the story of Erickson, and how he passed away, and why this tournament is happening.”
The tournament was organized in memory of Erickson Morgan, a friend of Munch’s who died after being struck by a vehicle while walking to a ball tournament.
The money raised from the tournament went to putting up a headstone for him. The 2021 tournament was able to raise the final amount needed for the headstone as well as the donation to Lytton.
“I did it all for Erickson, I did it for his family, for all the players, and mostly for Lytton,” Munch said.
Teams from Prince George, Kamloops, Lillooet, Prince Rupert and Williams Lake joined teams from Quesnel, with the winning team donating their prize money to the cause.
“It was pretty stressful for me. I had a lot of things on the go, a lot of games I had to ump, teams I had to co-ordinate,” Munch said. “It was hell, but I got through it. We all did what we meant to do. It wasn’t even supposed to be a fundraiser.”
Munch is challenging other ball communities to “step up” and donate to Lytton evacuees as well.
“Tournaments are great for fundraising and bringing people together for some special memories,” he said.
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