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Village Vision News

DACVB pitches Forsyth

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Teri Hammel, executive director of the Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau made a presentation to trustees at the May 18 board meeting outlining the coming season of sporting events.

Hammel took the opportunity to introduce Katrina Wilkerson, who works as director of sales and media for the DACVB. In addition, she brought along Katy Mize, the DACVB’s new director of sales and sports. Mize introduced herself and made a brief presentation. Mize works closely with Hammel on the sporting events that the DACVB promotes for the village and for the overall area.

In light of the last year’s successful debut ASA softball tournament at Forsyth Park, Hammel attended the ASA’s National Conference last fall in Reno, Nev., in search of other opportunities. She managed to land two tournaments for Forsyth Park for 2015; one is making its return to the area. The tournaments will run consecutive weekends in July.

The ASA Men’s Over 50 Fast Pitch National Tournament is slated for July 24-26. According to Hammel, the number of teams expected to compete is eight to 10. A similar tournament held last year in Ohio attracted eight teams coming from as far away as California, Colorado, Oklahoma and Ontario. This is the first time a national tournament will be held in Forsyth.

“We have teams committed to the national tournament already, two from California and one from Midland, Mich.,” Hammel said.

The following weekend, running from July 31-Aug. 2, is the ASA Men’s Fast Pitch State Tournament. This tournament, Hammel believes, should see 10-12 teams come to town. It marks the second appearance at Forsyth Park for this tourney after a successful event in 2014.

Hammel’s written report to trustees termed the event last year as “a huge success” with “players, coaches and teams, as well as ASA commissioners” being very happy with the “field maintenance, location, hospitality and the organized way the tournament was conducted.”

Last year saw nine teams come to town. Hammel reported a total of 36 hotel rooms occupied for the tournament, with an estimated economic impact of $8,400.

Hammel noted that the DACVB will give a stipend to Forsyth Youth League for helping with scorekeeping, scoreboards and other duties during both ASA tournaments.

The mission of the DACVB is to bring events to the village’s parks and facilities. The group promotes local hotels and restaurants in an effort to stimulate the village’s growth through hotel/motel tax and food and beverage tax. The DACVB is funded mainly by the village’s and the City of Decatur’s hotel/motel tax, in addition to a grant provided by the Illinois Office of Tourism’s Local Tourism and Convention Bureau program. The DACVB uses its funding for salaries, sponsorships, advertising, research, printed materials and attending tradeshows. 

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