With the Ruby Rutnik Memorial Softball Tournament fast approaching its April 8 weekend date, the organizers put the word out Wednesday for sponsors to sign up.
“It’s a great cause and way to support our youth,” her mother, Janet Cook-Rutnik, said.
Since it’s start 15 years ago, the fund set up with the proceeds from the tournament has awarded $110,000 in scholarships to 34 young women attending college.
The fund distributes four $2,500 scholarships each year: one for a St. John woman, one for the person who got that scholarship the previous year, one to a student from the winning team’s school, and one to a Gifft Hill School student.
“That’s Ruby’s alma mater,” Cook-Rutnik said.
Ruby attended the school when it was called Pine Peace School. She died 15 years ago at age 21 in a car crash in Washington, D.C., while attending American University. The tournament is held around the time of her April 9 birthday. She was a pitcher on Antilles School softball team.
The event also features a food and drink sale that benefits the Love City Pan Dragons.
Inning sponsorships cost $100 each. Sponsors will be announced at the beginning of each inning and throughout the event.
This year’s tournament will see four teams competing. Ruby’s father, Andy Rutnik, said that the teams include the St. Thomas/St. John All Stars, the St. Thomas private school All Stars, the St. Croix All Stars, and the Tortola All Stars.
A team from Elmore Stoutt High School on Tortola won last year’s tournament.
The first game kicks off at 3 p.m. April 8, with the opening ceremony slated for around 6 p.m. Games will continue on April 9 with April 10 reserved for a rain day or in case there are delays.
Sponsorship applications are available at Connections in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay or on Facebook. The 501C number is 66-0544380. Return the application and the check payable to RRSF Inc. to either Connections or by mail to Rutnik at Box 248, St. John, VI 00831.
Applicants may also fax the application to 775-9014 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call Connections at 776-6922 or the Rutniks at 693-8069 or 775-9014.