Williston resident Bekka Johnson loves all animals, but she especially loves cats. She's a crazy cat lady, and proud of it. Bekka also loves to play softball. 3 years ago, while participating in the Williston Chamber of Commerce's Leadership program, she came up with an idea that combined her two passions.

In the Chamber's Leadership program, the participants have to complete a project. Bekka knew that she wanted to do something that she was passionate about. She also wanted to do something about the overpopulation of cats in Williston.

She came up with an idea; the Pitching for Paws softball tournament, so she could do both of her passions at the same time and raise money for local shelters in Williston (a majority of the money goes to cats). Johnson may have completed the Leadership program, but she has kept the softball tournament going.

The first year of the softball tournament raised $4,000 for Mondak Animal Rescue's cat room. The second year raised $1,500 that went towards spaying and neutering cats at Mondak Animal Rescue in Williston. This year, the money raised will go to the cats at Animal Rescue & Retirement Ranch (ARRR).

Animal Rescue and Retirement Ranch Inc., of Williston is a 501c-3 non profit farm animal sanctuary and cat rescue, shelter and adoption facility. They currently have over 50 adoptable cats in their care.

Johnson says that the 3rd Annual Pitching for Paws promises to be the biggest softball tournament that Williston has ever hosted. So far, 13 teams have signed up to play, and she expects a couple more to join. The deadline for team registration is Monday, September 18. Games will get underway at 7:30am on Saturday, September 23 at Western Star Complex.

Pitching for the Paws is a USA Softball Sanctioned Tournament. The cost is $200 per team with a guarantee to play 3 games. If you've never played before that's perfectly fine, as there will be multiple divisions this year for all levels of players.

Contact Bekka for more info at bekka.erdman@hotmail.com

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