Anne Hayes’s dedication to B.C. Minor baseball has been recognized with the Baseball Canada Volunteer of the Year award. (Don Bodger/Black Press)

Anne Hayes’s dedication to B.C. Minor baseball has been recognized with the Baseball Canada Volunteer of the Year award. (Don Bodger/Black Press)

National award reflects Serauxmen Stadium board member’s dedication to baseball

Anne Hayes honoured as Baseball Canada’s Volunteer of the Year

A ball fan on the Serauxmen Stadium association’s board is Baseball Canada’s Volunteer of the Year.

Anne Hayes of Crofton recently received an e-mail from Baseball B.C. congratulating her on the honour, and initially thought it was some kind of joke. It turns out it was no joke. Hayes, 63, is just the second recipient from B.C. since the award was established in 2001. The Volunteer of the Year honour recognizes a contribution by a dedicated, enthusiastic person who has devoted at least 10 years of volunteering within their provincial association.

Hayes and husband Grant Butler have a long association with baseball that started with their own kids and has continued long after to today, with Hayes as the treasurer, chairperson of two divisions and human resources lead for B.C. Minor Baseball and Butler the president and challenger division chairperson.

Hayes grew up in Vancouver and moved to North Delta after she was married where sons Graham, now 32, and Taylor, 30, started playing baseball. She was on North Delta minor baseball’s board of directors for 12 years during her sons’ playing days, handling a variety of tasks from umpire allocation to scheduling, concessions manager and everything in between.

Hayes and Butler purchased their five-hectare property in Crofton in 2006 and moved there for good in 2017.

They’ve remained involved in B.C. Minor even being on the Island because it can do be done these days with remote meetings becoming commonplace. Being on the B.C. Minor board the last six years, Hayes has done just about everything.

“I look after their insurance. It’s sort of morphed into more. Last season, I was the only scheduler because of the COVID problems,” she said.

COVID restrictions kept changing and kept Hayes on her toes to make changes on the fly. The U15 AAA schedule had to be reworked no fewer than 10 times. Hayes left no stone unturned in her drive to make baseball happen for members. It took an extraordinary effort to get through the season, something she would prefer not to repeat.

“I’m really hoping it’s changed by April,” Hayes confided. “I’m hoping we can get up and running. There was no COVID cases in minor baseball. We proved we could do it.”

Hayes and Butler go to watch ball games in Duncan and Nanaimo and Hayes is on the board of the Serauxmen Stadium

“We still go watch baseball games in Duncan and Nanaimo once in a while,” Hayes indicated.

She is also on the board of Nanaimo’s Serauxmen Stadium Amateur Baseball Association.

A writeup on the Baseball Canada website summarized Hayes’ importance to the organization.

“It would be hard to imagine B.C. Minor Baseball and its 18,000-plus members experiencing the quality of baseball proudly delivered year in and year out without Anne’s efforts,” the statement noted. “It can be confidently stated that without Anne Hayes’s work and dedication during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, there would not have been much, if any, organized competition for the players and families of B.C. Minor Baseball’s 52 member communities. The positive impact Anne has on the delivery of high-quality youth baseball in the province of British Columbia cannot be overstated.”

To read an expanded version of this article, click here.

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