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Softball tournament raises funds for hurricane victims

Tony Subraj, right, of New Hyde Park, receives

Tony Subraj, right, of New Hyde Park, receives a shirt from Faizal Sherif, chairman of Team West Indies, at the inaugural Softball World Cup Tournament in Baldwin on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. The tournament raised funds for hurricane victims and honored the Subraj family's philanthropic work. Credit: Ed Betz

They came from across the country to play in Saturday’s inaugural Softball World Cup Tournament that raised money for hurricane victims and honored a Long Island family’s philanthropic work.

Halfway through the tournament of 172 players and 20-plus teams, the South Asian Sport Network — a sponsor of the event in Baldwin — recognized co-sponsor Tony Subraj, vice president of Zara Realty, and the Subraj family for their work in leading medical missions to Guyana to treat thousands of people there for free.

Subraj, 39, from New Hyde Park and of Guyanese descent, said he had hoped to honor his late father, George Subraj, who died in November 2016.

George Subraj coordinated medical outreach programs that are now sponsored by The George Subraj Family Foundation, which has done 34 kidney transplants, 60 corneal transplants and thousands of health screenings in Guyana’s impoverished regions.

“The lesson he taught me was ‘the hands that do create more blessings than the hands that pray,’” said Subraj, who said his organization was also working with Guyanese officials to start an eye donor program. “He said it wasn’t about getting back, that it was more about giving back.”

Proceeds for the tournament went to All Hands Volunteers, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that focuses on providing aid to communities affected by natural disasters. Organizers said the tournament raised $6,500 for the charity.

Suleman Tariq, 30, of Chicago and Atif Tatari, 30, of Kentucky, flew in for the weekend to play in the tournament as part of Team Pakistan. They said though they were tired from the flight in, they were excited to represent their country, play with friends and raise money for charity.

“To be able to do something cool like this and especially for charity is fantastic,” said Shekib Bashir, 26, of Manorville, who played right field for Team Afghanistan.

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