CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This would be the 10th anniversary of the Deanna Rivers 518 Memorial Softball Tournament had COVID-19 not shut it down the past two years. It’s returning this summer, but the deadline to sign up is fast approaching.
“We had it where we wanted it then COVID hit, and it tanked the whole thing,” said Brian Rivers, Deanna’s father and president of the Deanna Marie Rivers Foundation.
Since 2013, months after Deanna and her classmate Chris Stewart were killed by a drunk driver on the Northway, high school seniors have been invited to play softball together one last time before college. The tournament has combined Deanna’s love for softball with her selfless spirit — the foundation in her name donating money to area organizations in need.
“That’s what Deanna would want us to do,” said Brian Rivers. “Try to use this tragedy as doing something good for the community.”
Through the pandemic, the foundation kept the charity alive, giving back by feeding the community. Now, with the return to the diamond, the foundation is opening registration up to players not just from the class of 2022, but also the classes of 2020 and 2021 who didn’t get the chance to play in the tournament the past two years.
“It’s a fun time. It’s a fun tournament, you know what I mean? No stress in it,” said Brian Rivers, who added there is, however, a $500 scholarship awarded to the MVP.
The deadline for registration is May 15. It’s free to sign up. If you’re interested, click here.
“It’s just a fun, relaxing day if the family wants to come watch their daughter play again in another tournament,” said Brian, who practically lived at tournaments as both his daughters Deanna and Jenna were softball players.
If you’re interested in learning more about the foundation or becoming a sponsor for the tournament, click here.
The event is scheduled for June 12 in Clifton Park, with opening ceremonies set for 10:15 a.m. News10 ABC Sports Director Liana Bonavita will serve as the emcee.