How fitting that Dean Blachford would organize a charity softball game. As an expert in tax dispute resolution, the lawyer with HazloLaw often spends his days going to bat for his clients.
Blachford recruited many of his contacts from the chartered accounting biz to participate in HazloLaw's inaugural event, held Thursday afternoon at the RA Centre.
There were professionals there from GGFL, Welch, BDO Canada, MNP, Logan Katz, Hendry Warren, Kelly Huibers McNeely, McCay Duff, Crowe BGK, Envolta, and Bouris, Wilson, along with the Big Four professional services firms PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG.
The only player not from the accounting and tax world was Blachford's partner, Stephanie Talsma, director of programs at CAAWS (Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity).
The co-ed game followed slow-pitch softball rules.
HazloLaw offered up the prize money of $1,000 to be donated to the first-place team’s charity of choice (the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation). No charity went home empty handed, however. It was announced after the game that HazloLaw was also dishing out $500 to the losing team’s pick (the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation).
Lydia Blanchard, director of community engagement for the CHEO Foundation, and Grace Moreland, community events manager for the cancer foundation, had an opportunity to speak about the programs and services boosted by donations to their organizations. Their presence also accounted for half of the cheering section during the game.
Among the players seen running the bases and catching balls was former Forty Under 40 recipient Hugues Boisvert, founder and CEO of HazloLaw, a boutique business law firm.
The game remained a close one during the first few innings but the white team, captained by Joey Belanger, senior staff accountant at Welch LLP, kept racking up the runs to beat out the blue team, led by Jaime Wendland, senior manager at Hendry Warren LLP, with a score of 24 to 11. Everyone left the field in good spirits, though, and headed to the RA Centre's outdoor patio for beers and pub food.
With clear skies, warm temperatures and a slight breeze, it turned out to be a perfect day for playing ball.
“This was a great idea,” Shawn Roussy, a partner with Logan Katz LLP, told OBJ.social while socializing with the other players after the game. “I prefer doing this to playing in a golf tournament. When you’re golfing, you’re stuck with your foursome but, here, you get to meet a lot more people.”
Blachford told OBJ.social how grateful he was to the accountants for taking part. "These accountants are very important to me, from a business standpoint, but I've also gotten to know many of them very well over years. To have a chance to get everyone together and to see them hang out like this and have a great time is just so fantastic."
Blachford, who was also delighted to have representatives there from the two charities, said the charity softball game will become an annual thing.