Fire fighters from across the country participated in the National Fallen Fire Fighters Softball Tournament in May in Las Vegas, Nevada. Organizers of the annual event donated the $10,000 raised to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial.
“After attending the memorial in 2018, I knew what I wanted to do,” says Bill Malovrh, the tournament’s principal organizer and a member of Mentor, OH Local 1845.” He hopes to present a $10,000 check benefiting the Memorial every two years.”
Los Angeles County Local 1014 member Russell Vandemark started the National Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Softball Tournament in 2002 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a way to bring fire fighters together and raise money for charity. Vandemark has since passed away, but the tournament lives on.
About four years ago, Malovrh became the tournament’s principal organizer. The Local 1845 fire fighter is a seasoned organizer, having organized an annual softball tournament in his hometown honoring the memory of fire fighter Matt Henk who passed away from cancer.
“We have fire fighter softball teams from all over the country come to the Ohio event, so I have been trying to do the same thing in Las Vegas with the National Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Softball tournament,” says Malovrh. “I am proud to say that this tournament continues to grow. Last year, we had 58 teams.”
Malovrh says the tournament’s success couldn’t happen without the support of the members of his home local – Mentor, OH Local 1845 – and Local 1845 President Tom Keidel. And he says he does not do it alone. He has a great team, including Detroit, MI Local 344 member
Tom Suchora, Arlington, TX Local 1329 member Cade Hall, Clark County, NV Local 1908 members Mike Mosley and Jason Montenegro, North Las Vegas, NV Local 1607 member Luis Olmos and Las Vegas, NV Local 1285 member Justin Williams.
The 2020 tournament is scheduled for May 5-7.