The Sam McQuade Sr./Budweiser Charity Softball Tournament returns to Bismarck for the 38th straight year, starting this Friday. It is the USA's largest non-profit slow-pitch softball tournament and I can't wait to be a part of it.

According to McQuade's official website, the tournament was started in 1976 by Sam McQuade Sr. of McQuade Distributing Co., Inc. As the father of a special needs son, McQuade was aware of financial challenges local charities faced, so he decided to find a way to help raise funds. The first year, the tournament raised over $1,000. In 2009, the tournament raised over $75,000.

The tournament has gotten so big that not only do teams from Bismarck-Mandan and the entire state of North Dakota play, but some of the best teams in the country come to town to try and win "The McQuade". Last year, nearly 500 teams played in the tournament.

As someone who is about to experience "The McQuade" for the first time, I can't wait to not only play in the games but just be apart of the entire atmosphere around Bismarck this weekend. It's not just about softball, according to a friend of mine...It's about coming together as a community and having a good time.

Like I said, I can't wait to be a part of it. Look for me playing poorly on the Planet Power Sports/Borrowed Buck's team. I'll be the incredibly slow guy that doesn't play that often.

For more on the Sam McQuade Sr./Budweiser Charity Softball Tournament, visit their official website HERE.