March 28, 2005 The coming of April means it's time for the Ruby Rutnik Memorial Softball Tournament. The ninth annual competition runs April 8 through 10 at the Winston Wells Ballfield in Cruz Bay, St. John.
"It's a lot of fun to sit in the bandstand and be entertained," Janet Cook-Rutnik said Monday.
The games will be played starting at 4 p.m. April 8. An opening ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. the same day.
On April 9, games run from 9 a.m., with a playoff game starting at 8 p.m.
The winner of that game plays the first place team at 11 a.m. on April 10.
The event pits girl's teams from five schools against each other. George Deller, who is helping to organize the tournament, said he has confirmations from Antilles School, Eudora Kean High School, Country Day School, and the St. Croix All Stars. He expects Central High School to also compete.
Deller said that last year, Central High School beat Antilles School 14 to 11 to win the championship.
The tournament raises money for the Ruby Rutnik scholarship fund, named in honor of the St. John woman who died in a 1996 car crash while she was a senior at American University in Washington, D.C.
The scholarship fund awards four $2,500 scholarships. Two renewable scholarships go to St. John girls. The third goes to a college-bound girl from the winning team's school. The fourth scholarship goes to a young woman enrolled in or planning to attend the University of the Virgin Islands.
To date, the program has given 17 scholarships totaling $42,500 to nine St. John girls and one St. Croix girl.
The money comes from the Ruby Rutnik Scholarship Fund Inc. Janet Rutnik and her husband, Andrew Rutnik, Licensing and Consumer Affairs commissioner, hope to establish a $200,000 endowment to fund the annual awards. The fund has about two-thirds of that total, and the Rutniks hope this year's tournament will bring it closer to that goal.
Among those receiving scholarships to date are: Marilyn Callwood, LaReesa Clendinen, Brittany Fredericks, Nyeisha Smalls, Jessa Buchalter, Kristen Maize, Tiffany Rogers, Khania Dawson, and Tessa Williams.
The event raises money by selling innings at $100 a piece and through game sponsorships at $700 each.
The buy an inning or a game or to donate, call the Rutniks at 693-8069 or visit Connections in Cruz Bay or Coral Bay. The Connections number in Cruz Bay is 776-6922. In Coral Bay, it's 779-4994. Checks should be made payable to RRSF Inc.
Resident can also help out by buying a $15 T-shirt. They will be for sale at the game and at Connections. This year, as always, the T-shirt features images of Ruby. Many were taken while she was a star pitcher at Antilles School.
The Love City Pan Dragons will raise money for its activities by selling food and drink at the field's bandstand.
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