This Saturday the Raider softball team will host the 14th Annual Suzanne J Buche Cancer Awareness Tournament.
Suzanne, better known as Suzie, was the mother of two former Raider athletes, and an avid PHS supporter.
Born September 8, 1958 to Nancy and Charlie Poquette and raised in East Lansing with her four brothers and sisters, Suzie graduated from East Lansing in 1976 before moving on to Central Michigan University where she earned a degree. She married her husband Matt Buche in 1987, and soon after they had their first child, a daughter named Danielle, then 17 months later a son named Bridger.
In a joint response for this story, Matt, Danielle and Bridger said, “Suzie was one of those people who kept every friend she ever made. She loved her family, crafting, gardening and travel. She left a lasting impression on each and every person she met which can still be felt to this day by all the people who continue to celebrate her and her life year after year at this tournament.”
The family also said that, “The original idea for the tournament came from Jack Anderson in 2005, the year of Susie’s passing and Danielle’s senior year of softball. He and his coaching staff have given up their Memorial Day weekends ever since. Our family donates the main prizes which are raffled off each year. The prizes that will be raffled off this year are a package of eight Detroit Tigers Tickets, Detroit Lions vs Packers Tickets, B-93 Birthday Bash Tickets, Michigan State Spartan Cornhole Boards and a Framed Embroidery Picture of University of Michigan Big House Stadium. Many parents, coaches and members of the community contribute incredible silent auction items as well. The parents of the players have been absolutely instrumental in the success of the tournament with all of their hard work on the day of the tournament and weeks before. It would not be possible without them.”
The Buche and Raider softball families encourage people to stop out enjoy the day with them.
The Buche family said, “Everyone that attends soon realizes this is a serious day but not a somber one. There is lots of laughing and celebrating of people in the community who are cancer survivors, as well as the celebrating of Suzie’s life and of all the people she touched with her loving and giving spirit. We are genuinely touched by the outpouring from the Portland community as well as those from the other teams participating.”
Portland softball players will gather donations this week before the tournament. Those interested in supporting the event may also stop by on the day of to donate. All proceeds go directly to the American Cancer Society for cancer research.
This year’s tournament will include teams from Olivet, Owosso, and Livonia Franklin, who happens to be coached by PHS alum Brittany Grys.
Raider head coach Jack Anderson said of the tournament, “It is an event that started as a tournament and became a big event. Contests grow bigger and bigger each year. Sometimes when you start something like this, you don’t know how long it will last. This one just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
According to a Facebook event for the tournament, this event has raised $95,000 in the past 13 years, and hopes to pass the $100,000 mark on Saturday.
Softball games will begin at 10:00 AM. The Raider baseball team will also host DeWitt on Saturday starting at 10:00 AM as part of the Buche event.