In 1991, the “Betty Smyth Softball Classic” had it's first go-round. The event was produced by the loosely affiliated Softball Against Cancer Committee (SACC). It was just a crew of three: Betty's two sons, Andy and Jeff Smyth, and family friend, Don Voner. The event took place at Tufts University in Medford and was comprised of 12 competitive teams playing in a self-pitch, 2-day double elimination tournament. The winner got the opportunity to play a Bruins celebrity team! The event ran again at Tufts in 1992 and, in 1993, it moved over to the current site in Burlington. In 1996, the event was recreated as “Take a Swing at Cancer ’96“ and has been an annual event since.
While there is still a competitive nature to the event, the focus has shifted more towards having fun, as opposed to being competitive. We are now comprised of co-ed teams that participate in either of the two separate 1-day events. Another major shift occurred back in 1998... Initially a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, our primary purpose was redirected when we founded our own non-profit group, appropriately named "Take a Swing and Cancer, Inc." and nicknamed "TASC". We now have our own beneficiary committee that participates directly with those in need! We research and creates relationships with beneficiaries, make decisions on where the money goes, and take a more active role in helping the greater community.
As more people continue to find out about TASC, the demand on our level of funding also continues to increase. So, while the event itself has changed throughout the years, so, too, has our focus. We are now committed to growing the output of the event – with the purpose of raising more funds for families. We now ask participants to help us to help others with the assistance of a pledge-a-thon and corporate sponsorships. Now, more than ever, we are in the business of having fun for a purpose. There are many families out there that can benefit from our assistance, and we do our best to keep up with the demand. We hope others will feel the same passion we do and join us as we take the field at our customary time, the weekend after labor day.