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New England Softball Teams Face Off for Women’s Freedom Center Fundraiser

The 23rd Annual Glove, Sweat and Cheers Women’s Softball Tournament will be held on Saturday, July 8th, at Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro. The slow-pitch softball tournament is a popular family-friendly event that supports awareness of women’s sports and raises money for the Women’s Freedom Center (WFC), the local domestic and sexual violence program and shelter serving Windham and southern Windsor counties.

Softball teams from around New England will vie for top honors in this double elimination tournament. Games will be played on both upper and lower fields beginning at 8:30 a.m. Updated schedules will be posted at each field.

The tournament is a free public event. The Memorial Park swim area will be open for those who need to cool down and the park has several playgrounds for kids of all ages. Volunteers will be grilling and selling food at the upper field. Concessions stands offering tournament merchandise, 50-50 raffle tickets, snacks and beverages will be open at both fields to raise funds for the organization. Last year’s Glove, Sweat, and Cheers Tournament generated nearly $6,800 for the Women’s Freedom Center. Organizers hope to surpass that total this year.

Executive Director, Vickie Sterling, believes that all of the center’s events are a service in their own right, in that they provide opportunities for everyone to experience and participate in activities that highlight the strength and skills of women. “Exposure to women’s sports is vital in shifting the often negative, media-influenced perceptions of women’s athletic abilities. As for the softball tournament itself, the community is always supportive, and there is always a broad range of spectators. It takes a lot of coordination and effort but is so worth it when the day arrives.”

The Women’s Freedom Center offers shelter for abuse survivors; a 24-hour hotline; rape crisis services; safety planning; advocacy and support with legal, economic, medical, and human service systems; emergency transportation; individual and group support; and community outreach and education.

During 2016, the WFC sheltered 101 women, 7 men, and 111 children. Advocates responded to over 1,650 crisis telephone calls and provided hundreds of hours of individual and group support, advocacy, emergency financial assistance, housing assistance, access to legal representation, education, transportation and childcare to534 women, 29 men, and 594 children who had been abused. In April 2017, WFC received the Community-Based Victim Advocacy Award from the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services.

For more information about the tournament or registration, please contact the Women’s Freedom Center at development@womensfreedomcenter.net or call (802) 257-7364.