Chance Crawford Benefit Softball Tournament returns for 36th year

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SALEM (WSLS 10) - The charitable softball tournament returns to the Roanoke Valley April 15-17.

This year, 140 teams from Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Tennessee will be playing in the 36th annual Chance Crawford Benefit Softball Tournament.

Games will be played at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex, the tournament headquarters, the Botetourt Sports Complex and fields at the Salem Civic Center, Arnold R. Burton, Whispering Pines, Wasena Park, Huff Lane, Norwich Field and Oakey's Field.

There are six different divisions this year: Men's B Open, Men's C, Men's D, Men's E, Men's Recreation and a Women's Division.

The tournament started in the spring of 1981 to help Salem High School quarterback Chance Crawford who suffered a spinal cord injury during one of his football games. The purpose of the original event was to raise money to help Chance and his family with the expenses of his education, physical therapy and other medical needs due to his injury.

After Chance graduated from college, he was elected Clerk of Court for the City of Salem and the Chance Crawford Tournament Committee decided to continue the tournament in his honor, but use the proceeds from the tournament to help those in need in the community with their own medical and education expenses.

In 35 years, the tournament has earned more than $800,000 and put that money in the hands of individuals with health problems as well as deserving college students who need financial assistance. These funds are also used to help support youth sports throughout the greater Roanoke Valley.