Clifton Park, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After two years away due to the pandemic, the Deanna Rivers 518 Memorial Softball Tournament made it’s triumphant return Sunday.
Deanna Rivers and classmate Chris Stewart tragically passed away in 2013. But since then, through The Deanna Marie Rivers Foundation, her family has turned their tragedy into a positive impact on the community.
Since 2013, the tournament has served as a chance for high school seniors to play softball together one last time before college, while raising money for local charities. This year, the tournament was also open to the class of 2020 and 2021.
This year the tournament raised money for the Shenendehowa food pantry, the Shenendehowa Bountiful Backpack program, Act with Respect Always, and the Stillwater Elementary School library project. “Deanna was all about paying it forward and so when we can do that, we do it in her honor.” said Deanna’s mother Debbie. “We try and make it about her, so it’s either education or sports. Things that she loved.”
After two years away, Debbie Rivers was blown away by the community support. “It amazes me because they do it for us,” said Rivers. “They do it for Deanna, and for everybody to come here, take time out of their busy life and their day, it just, it makes my heart, I can’t even explain it. My heart is just full.”