As you can see by reading Mike's biography, he was a big part of the softball community in Greenfield Park. When Mike passed away, his friends and family decided to try to keep his memory alive by hosting the Mike Reid Softball Charity tournament. The event would take place on the same ball fields where he regularly watched his dad and his friends compete. The goal of the tournament would be to raise money for the school that he attended where he left behind many kids with similar physical disabilities. Extra funding would provide some necessary funds to help improve their quality of life. In 1984 we started the tournament with only 8 men's teams. At the very beginning the Committee consisted of Mike's mom Linda Bremner, his father Frank Reid, sisters Susan and Kathryn Reid, his best friend Wade Wilson and Gary McLarnon. It was a small event but a great success. Many more people wanted to get involved and it thus became an annual event in Greenfield Park. So much money was raised that the Committee decided that we could also donate some money to local organizations and help out the community that was so important to Mike growing up.
The committee also changed and grew over the years to include many friends and family members. The volunteers, young and old, were numerous and dedicated. In 2008 Mike's father Frank became ill and was not able to continue being the head of the Committee and corner stone of the event, therefore, handing the leadership over to Mike's best friend Wade Wilson. Wade and Mike had been best friends and were inseperable from the beginning of their special relationship. Over the years Mike had many close neighborhood friends that watched over him and stuck by him during all his surgeries, his trials and tribulations that his short life handed him.
Sadly, Mike's dad Frank passed away in May 2012 and Mom in September 2014 leaving a large emotional hole in the event but the success of the tournament prevailed, just as he would of wanted it to. Mike's mom Linda in the early years of the tournament was responsible for the bar and volunteers but after her health started to fail she became the 'supervisor' behind the scenes as her health failed. She was and always will be the Monarch of the event.
Over the years, the tournament has seen two and three generations of volunteers and participants. The kids have grown up with the tournament being a large part of their lives and are now contributing themselves both on and off the field.
We are now entering our 35th year and have 36 men's and 8 - 10 woman's teams. With the enormous following, this event has grossed almost $1 million dollars. We receive phone calls and emails starting in December asking the dates when the tournament will be held so they can arrange their family vacation schedule around the tournament. Near and Far.
I am very proud that keeping Mike's memory alive has been such a great success. Many people gain from the event, not only financially but from just participating year after year. I know Mike is looking down on us and is very proud of each person who has shown their support in one way or another.
Thank you to everyone who has attended, donated or spread the word.
Wade Wilson, Chairmam of the Mike Reid Foundation explains what the Mike Reid Foundation is all about and how the money raised in the tournament is actually used.
The video was recorded in 2013 at the MacKay Centre School in Montreal.
MacKay is a private rehabilitation and educational centre located on Decarie Boulevard in Montreal. Its history dates back to 1869 with the founding of the Mackay School for the deaf. The Center's present mission is twofold:
- To maximize the potential for independence, autonomy and success for children with disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing and to prepare them for participation in their schools and communities to the fullest extent possible.
- To be a centre for deafness and to provide appropriate services to deaf and hard of hearing adults.
The Mike Reid Softball Tournament has been raising money for the children at Mackay since 1985. The money has enabled a great many children to participate in exciting and educational extracurricular activities that would not have been possible otherwise. Trips to Ottawa, Quebec City and as far away as Florida and Arizona for special events, not to mention numerous day trips within the Montreal area, have all been made possible through the efforts of the tournament's organizers and supporters. In more recent years support from the tournament has assisted children in attending Mackay's summer camp as well as providing much of the funding for the exciting Michael Reid Resource Room, which is designed primarily to provide information and support to parents of disabled children and adolescent and adult users.
Kathryn Reid was recognized by the City of Longueuil for her years of volunteering for the Mike Reid Foundation. Kathryn was presented the award at the Longueuil City Hall on April 15th 2015. There were approximately 40 volunteers who were honored with a Volunteer Award in front of dignitaries and representatives of community, cultural and sporting services and Kathryn's supporters.
Kathryn has been associated with the Mike Reid Foundation since its inception in 1985. Mike Reid's younger sister, Kathryn started as the secretary under the direction of her father, Frank who was the President of the foundation from 1984 to 2007. Earlier in 2015, Kathryn became President of the foundation after Wade Wilson was promoted to Chairman.
Started in memory of her brother Michael, The Mike Reid Foundation has raised close to one million dollars for Montreal's MacKay Centre and other local charities through the Mike Reid Softball Tournament and other fundraising events.
Kathryn received the award in conjunction with Longueuil's volunteer week, which pays tribute to volunteers who have gone above and beyond being a volunteer.