ARICHAT: Municipal council is supportive of plans to create a new championship trophy for the Richmond Amateur Baseball Association (RABA) which will be named in honour of the late Barry Marchand.
Deputy Warden Michael Diggdon told the June 28 regular monthly meeting, that the last trophy was donated by former Richmond MLA Gerald Doucet in 1970 and he suggested the municipality donate money, or help the RABA in another way, in the creation of a new Barry Marchand Championship Trophy.
“Barry was definitely a pillar in the world of education, and also a pillar in the world of baseball, everywhere from an all-around great player, to an all-around great man and teacher, on the field and off the field,” he told council. “It’s something that I think we can’t let fall through the cracks.”
Diggdon said the RABA is looking at a multi-tiered trophy that will be in the vicinity of several hundred dollars.
“Every year the winners go on the trophy, kind of like a four-tier, five-tiered trophy, which goes right around,” he explained. “Each year, the winner of the RABA gets presented and labeled on that trophy.”
Noting this would be an opportunity to use district funds, Warden Amanda Mombourquette expressed support for the idea.
Diggdon asked whether could also go through the municipality’s recreation department.
“Where we get it, how we get it, I think this is a gesture the municipality needs to do,” District 1 Councillor Shawn Samson said. “I’m sure that residents would want us to do this, and I think it’s a great gesture.”
The deputy warden said with the baseball season due to start on the weekend of July 23-25, and play-offs scheduled for mid-September, the league is hoping to unveil the new trophy for this year’s championship.
District 3 Councillor Melanie Sampson said there are various ways to fund this request, but she agrees with the warden that this could fall under district funds. As part of that application process, and once they determine when the RABA needs the trophy, council can meet during the summer to accommodate.
“I think it’s an awesome idea and I would basically echo all the comments in terms of trying to figure out a way that this can work,” District 3 Councillor Melanie Sampson. “But we do want to be cautious in terms of how we do it.”
She requested that Diggdon and Samson have the RABA executive come forward to discuss their options with Chief Financial Officer Jason Martell and recreation director Laurier Samson.
“In principle, I completely support the idea, I just want to make sure that we do it right,” the district 3 councillor said.
Mombourquette said this could also be funded under a section of their grant policy which does not require the RABA to contribute half.
“It’s a higher maximum, but it’s not 50 cent dollars, so they could maybe apply through that stream,” she noted. “I’m hearing from councillors, so far, that I think everybody would be very supportive of this. There’s no way to describe the contribution that he made.”
Sampson said under the “sponsorships” section of the grant policy, the trophy can be completely covered if it costs less than $500.
Chief Administrative Officer Don Marchand said the recreation department is not budgeted to cover the expense of a trophy.
“But there is money there from the grant perspective and I think that’s perfectly fine to make an application,” he told council. “I don’t think that should come from a councillor though.”
Marchand recommended the league contact the CFO, get an application (including price), then submit their form as soon as possible.