Special to the Press
BRISTOL - The 20th annual Bristol Police Ed Beardsley Challenger Little League Golf Tournament will take place Thursday at the Chippanee Country Club.
The tournament benefits the Challenger division of the Edgewood Little League, with all proceeds going to the program.
Challenger, Little League’s adaptive baseball program for children with physical and intellectual challenges, will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next June.
Jeff Beauchamp, founder of the fundraiser, said he is delighted to bring back the event to raise money for Challenger Fun Days.
Beauchamp, now retired, said Mark Kichar may be the man to take the tournament forward.
“I’m proud to see the community come together and raise money for a good cause,” Beauchamp said. “We’ve raised an estimated $200,000 for Fun Days with our small tournaments.”
Challenger League Fun Days happen all over the country, featuring games and events for young people ages 7-20 to enjoy.
Fun Days were started in Bristol by Ed Beardsley, father of a son with special needs. Beardsley has since died, but his spirit lives on in the tournament fundraiser that now bears his name.
“The public is happy to see him as a champion for the league,” Beauchamp said. “It’s important to preserve his legacy.”
The Challenger Little League division has grown to over 25,000 handicapped athletes across the country.
“We have had the same golfers participating year after year for 20 years,” he began. “We love the tournament and it’s nice to keep it going. Everyone keeps coming back because we take pride in doing the best we can for the kids.”