This is an emotional, exciting and rewarding weekend for Jenny Redick.
It’s her late son Tanner’s 24th birthday and the ball diamonds in Alvinston will be filled with people who knew and loved him for the Tanner Redick Memorial Two Pitch Tournament.
Tanner Redick, 21, died Dec. 15, 2019 in a crash with a combine. That summer, his mom, started hosting a two-pitch tournament to help remember him. This weekend 30 teams are playing at the Alvinston ball diamonds and sharing stories about Tanner.
“He loved any sport,” says Redick. “It’s summer; he loved the summer. I can just see him. It’s funny, this morning, when I got up and start loading the car (to prepare for the tournament) there was a cardinal chirping rate outside at my house; they say you know cardinals or sign from heaven. So, okay, here we go.”
The weekend is a lot of good fun and people share stories about her son. “I love it the more people come up to me and talk to me about Tanner.
“It’s emotional exciting, rewarding all those,” she said her voice crackling with emotion. “I know Tanner really would have appreciated giving back to the community. It’s funny he was young – he was 19 years old 20 years old – and he just loved this community.”
Tanner had just landed his first job as a firefighter at the Six Nations Fire Service, but he had been a longtime volunteer firefighter in Alvinston. He spent much of his spare time in Alvinston with family and friends.
Many in the firefighting community and his school friends join the tournament which has raised $64,000 for community causes in two years. The organization has also started a scholarship in his name. It will be awarded Friday night at the ball diamond during opening ceremonies at 8 pm.
“I miss Tanner terribly and the old saying of time heals it – it doesn’t. It gets more frustrating and a little more upsetting because you see his friends moving on in their life and you think ‘Oh that would have been Tanner’ or you know buy their first house, get married – all those things,” says Redick.
“So this to me, this is a milestone for Tanner every year. So I’m hoping it’ll go on forever.’