Sep. 23—WILKES-BARRE — With picturesque fall weather in the forecast, this Saturday is shaping up to be a great one for some softball, honoring a loved one, and breaking stigma at the 5th Annual Colin R. MacLean Memorial Softball Tournament, to be held at Kirby Park.
MacLean, 27, passed away on July 21, 2018, due to a fentanyl overdose. His parents, Janet and Ray, established the Colin R. MacLean Memorial Fund to help others struggling with substance abuse.
"We put it out there that he struggled with substance abuse disorder and, you know, what he died from, and that we vowed to try to do something positive out of this tragedy," Janet Maclean explained.
Money raised through the fund goes directly back to those who need it. MacLean explained that funds can go towards things like helping with travel expenses for travel to after-care facilities, for those who may have burned familial bridges through their addiction, or towards the cost of staying in sober living facilities. They even have a scholarship to send children to Camp Kresge, where Colin was once a counselor.
Colin also went to Clearbrook Treatment Centers, and as such, Clearbrook brings a team to compete in the tournament. There are benches dedicated to Colin's memory at both Camp Kresge, and at Clearbrook, where Janet has a speaking engagement slated for Friday at 2 p.m.
The tournament itself kicks off at 8 a.m., and runs until the games are all over. State Rep. Aaron Kaufer will be on hand to offer remarks at 1:30 p.m.
There will be pizza for the softball players being donated by Pizza Bella, Checkerboard, and Bud's Pizza. There also will be donated raffle baskets and a 50/50 and merchandise, all of which will be available under the Martz Pavilion.
The event has grown in the last five years. While it was born out of tragedy, it unites people under a common goal: breaking the stigma of addiction.
"I had neighbors for 30-plus years who came to Colin's viewing and said, 'I never knew he had a problem,'" MacLean explained, describing her son as "Mr. Clean Cut, athletic," who was very active in the Kingston softball community, socially friendly, and funny.
"He was just such a bright light," she said.
For more information on the Colin R. MacLean Memorial Fund, visit www.colinrmacleanfund.com.
Saturday's event is free to attend, however, players do pay a fee, and folks are encouraged to participate in the raffle as well as purchase merchandise. The proceeds all go back into furthering the MacLeans' mission.
And keep an eye out for the CRM 42 team, named after Colin, the number 42 representing his favorite Yankee, Mariano Rivera.