homepage logo

NFM Civic fundraiser a smash bash

By CHUCK BALLARO - | May 26, 2021

Allyson Rae, of the Gypsy Outlaws and NBC-2 chief meteorologist, takes a swing at a pitch at the third annual North Fort Myers Civic Association tournament held at the North Fort Myers Community Park on Saturday. CHUCK BALLARO


The North Fort Myers Civic Association really lucked out this year with its third-annual Bash at the North Fort Myers Community Park on Saturday.

The weather was nothing short of spectacular, a record number of teams played in the featured tourney, and the civic association raised more money than it has than at any other fundraiser in its history.

Teams with names like the Gypsy Outlaws, Ball Hawgs and the Over the Hill Gang were among the 17 to play in the tournament that is usually held in February to coincide with the start of spring training.

With the pandemic, the modified tournament event to replace Civic’s annual Wiffle Ball Bash was held back some three months. Not only did it not impact the event negatively, it seemed a relief for many to finally get outside and enjoy the April-like weather conditions that made NBC-2 meteorologist Allyson Rae happy, as she also played in the competition.

Doug Dailey, event organizer, said everything came together nicely, even if it was a bit windy, which helped result in many more home runs as the fields on the west side of the facility had the wind at the hitters’ backs.

“We have rule changes. After last year where we had games end 1-0, we had a 14-0 game today as well as a 7-4, a 5-3 and everyone seems to like the rule changes,” Dailey said. “We’ve exceeded the last two tournaments in fundraising.”

The charity tournament featured the Might Mussel Mascot, as well as raffles and a silent auction for items such as gift baskets, a bicycle, scooters, signed memorabilia and much more.

For those playing in the tournament, it was an opportunity to give back to the community while having fun at the same time.

George Iwanow, who owns All-Superior Auto with his wife, Christy-Lee, who is also civic vice president, said it was about supporting a local cause.

“It’s good stuff. We do things like Santa in Palmona because it’s about the kids. This gets people together to see all the local businesses,” Iwanow said. “We support this cause and we’re trying to make this community a better place.”

Nicholas Haupt, who played for Gypsy Outlaw, a women’s fashion boutique in Fort Myers, said it was all about supporting North Fort Myers, which they have in this tournament all three years.

“It’s a good time with good people supporting the community,” said Haupt, who lives in North Fort Myers. “We grew up here.”

Rae, wearing a ball cap and sunglasses to make herself low key, is a huge supporter of North Fort Myers and causes, even hosting the tree lighting ceremony at the rec center in 2019.

“I’m supporting North Fort Myers and the Outlaws. People need to know how awesome this community is,” Rae said.

Of course, there can only be one winner, and that was the Titan Ball Hawgs, who defeated the Mavericks 2-0 in the championship game.