The second annual Captain John Francis Softball Tournament is on for Sept. 11 at the Whitehall Elks Field. The event is free to the public and will start at 8 a.m. and end on Sept. 12 at 6 p.m.
John Francis Hoague-Rivette passed on Oct. 23, 2019, after a months-long battle with brain cancer. Hoague-Rivette was not only well-known throughout the Whitehall community, he was also a well-known for loving his community just as much as they loved him, according to Tim Gordon.
“John Francis was an amazing little man who had the biggest heart,” Gordon said. “His love for law enforcement and his community were amazing. He was a huge part of this community, he brought everyone together, didn’t matter about differences or anything, this community came together as one to support.”
The tournament already has eight teams lined up to play for the coming weekend, and Kimberly Marviglio has been helping Gordon organize the event, seeing as he is currently deployed. Marviglio commented on how she recruited teams.
“We do reach out to many local businesses and people for any type of donation,” she said. “This year we reached out even further to some of the fire and law departments.”
Gordon explained that the tournament is set up with three games per team guaranteed. The first game for a team is treated as a “play-in game” and the other two are considered the tournament.
“The first game is the team Fingers Up vs. Bad Company at 8 a.m., next is Moon Shots vs. The Swingers at 9 a.m., next is Beerview Mirrors vs. Cooley’s Ice Cream at 10 a.m., then the final play in game is 518 Mafia vs. The Oddballs at 11 a.m. After those games are played the tournament bracket is set up and the games are every hour from then on,” Gordon said.
Although the tournament happens over the entirety of the weekend, community members can stop by a game if they would like and will be able to take part in a 50/50 raffle and a possible basket drawing. As for the money raised at the event, that will be going to the Captain John Francis Memorial Fund.
“This fund will aid students at Whitehall Central School and ensure they have what they need to succeed academically and provide the memorable school experience that John Francis will not have, but so rightfully deserved,” Marviglio said.
Due to the COVID pandemic canceling almost all social events, Gordon explained that the planning process was hard to get through due to social distancing and more. This year was described by Gordon as harder to plan because of his deployment.
“This year has been even harder due to me being halfway around the world. I had amazing help from Ryan and Kim Marviglio, Tim and Sam Simmes, John’s mother Carrie and my wife Sarah Gordon,” he said. “They took care of things I could not being away and still made sure the tournament was ready to go, a big thanks to them.”
All community members are invited to join in on the fun. Marviglio mentioned that if people are interested in donating to the Captain John Francis Memorial Fund, they can write checks to “Community Bank c/o Captain John Francis Memorial Fund” at 92 Main Street, Whitehall, NY 12887.
“Doing the sport of softball really has no meaning to John, it’s just something people from 18 to however old want to come play, they can swing a bat, have fun and raise some money for an amazing cause.”