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Third annual Big Sports Gig raises funds for local youth

The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation is taking over Cheney Stadium for the Tacoma Rainiers game July 1 against the Las Vegas 51s.

The takeover is to raise money as part of the third annual The Big Sports Gig. The event raises money for the foundation’s Recreation Scholarship Fund, and three sections of the stadium are reserved by the foundation for Gig Harbor supporters.

Julie Gustanski, the foundation’s executive director, said the organization is working to get a strong Gig Harbor turnout at the event and is encouraging attendees to wear royal blue so their sections stand out even more during the game.

“The Big Sports Gig is the largest event that we do to raise funds for this program,” she said. “We’re aiming to get 500 people from our community out that night.”

The Big Sports Gig is the largest event that we do to raise funds for this program. We’re aiming to get 500 people from our community out that night.

Julie Gustanski, executive director for the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation

New to the event this year, the foundation offered the first donor of $500 the chance to throw the opening ceremonial pitch for the game.

The Madsen family, owners of the Pioneer Coffee Roasting Company in Cle Elum, were the first to donate and will be helping to kick off the July 1 game.

Also new this year is the foundation hosting auditions for singers or groups to perform the national anthem before the game, with auditions expected to finish up by Friday (June 17).

“One thing that we’re potentially going to do is combine voices and forces of many people from our community to make it really special so we have a huge impact and presence the day of the event,” Gustanski said.

Also part of the event will be children’s activities, The Big Sports Gig Tailgate BBQ Party and an on-field parade for kids prior ages 4 to 12.

The community recreation scholarship fund is for our community. It’s for any group or program that has community recreation or sports programs.

Gustanski

The Recreational Scholarship Fund was established in 2014 to fund the participation of economically disadvantaged youth in Gig Harbor area sports and recreational programs.

“The community recreation scholarship fund is for our community,” Gustanski said. “It’s for any group or program that has community recreation or sports programs.”

All proceeds from The Big Sports Gig will go to benefit the fund, in addition to donor gifts.

Standard tickets for the event are $20 and are available online through the foundations Facebook page or on the foundation’s website at gigharborfoundation.org/foundation.

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