Business aiming for world record in softball

Big ideas can come from a “coffee club.”
And Barb Stainke, co-owner of the Bonnie Blue here with her husband, Chris, has dreamed up an event so grand in scale it would get into the Guinness Book of World Records—a non-stop 48-hour softball game.
Dreamed up over the summer, during softball games and conversations with the usual coffee club that hangs out at the Scott Street store, Stainke said she’s determined to get the “Bonnie Blue Baseball Bash” off the ground in conjunction with the town’s centennial in 2003.
“Right now, it’s just a bunch of people brainstorming,” said Stainke.
“The attempt is real, but it’s all ideas right now,” she noted. “We’re kicking into overdrive in January.”
Originally conceived as a charity event, Stainke realized a softball game like this had never been played after contacting Guinness via the Internet.
She’s since been working through the guidelines set down by Guinness, having to alter plans and ensure other contingencies are in place before the event even will be recognized as a world record-setting event.
For instance, at one point, the softball game was going to feature more than 400 players who would “tag off” during the event. “We were patterning ourselves after ‘Relay for Life’ but they said we couldn’t do it,” said Stainke.
“At this point, we don’t know if we’ll need 100 players or 50 players,” she added, noting she has to find out if the game must be played by Canadian, American, or European rules, or what other restrictions—such as gender ratio—there may be.
But she does know all players will have to take physicals.
Other requirements include adequate media coverage and witnesses from the community. Since the players can’t leave the field, “corrals” or bunkers have to be present to house them while eating, sleeping, or simply waiting to play.
This means there will have to be committees for aspects like food, medical care, and security.
Other possible events coinciding with the softball marathon to make it a true celebration include bands, a casino made possible through Bonnie Blue’s lottery licence, and a carnival through a Toronto-based organization called the Showmen’s League.
“The reason why was Fun in the Sun didn’t have a carnival, it was kind of boring. So we thought we’d do something,” said Pat Patnod, a “coffee club” member who’s heading up the security committee.
Stainke noted given the event is for charity, is just won’t happen without sponsorships from local businesses and corporations—something else she’s been pursuing.
“Labatt’s and Easter Seals have shown an interest. We’d like to see all the charities and service clubs to contact us,” she said.
Stainke pointed out the myriad of ways different charities or non-profit organizations could benefit. For instance, Girl Guides would have a hospitality site with donated tents that could go to the group afterwards, or players would use softball equipment which then could go to local leagues.
While the proposed game may not be until the last weekend in June, 2003, Stainke said she’s not slowing down now. But she stressed that a project this grand just can’t happen without co-operation.
“We’re going to need volunteers and help. It’s going to take our whole community to come behind this and make the 2003 centennial one to remember,” she enthused.
Businesses, service clubs, charities, or individuals who want to get involved can contact Stainke at 274-3761, or fax her at 274-4686.

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