Tournament of Hope keeps Michael Dunahee’s case alive

One of Crystal Dunahee's favourite memories of her son Michael was when the family brought home his sister for the first time.

Michael Dunahee went missing on March 24

Michael Dunahee went missing on March 24

One of Crystal Dunahee’s favourite memories of her son Michael was when the family brought home his sister for the first time.

“The best one was when Caitlin was born. He was her big brother, he always wanted to be helping out and doing what he could for his little sister,” said his mother Crystal. “He always wanted to hold her.”

On Sunday, March 24, 1991, four-year-old Michael went missing from Blanshard Elementary School and was never found.

“It was a hard day. It’s just one of those things where you allow him to do something for the first time and then it back fires because that’s what had happened,” Crystal said. “You allow him to go to the park for the first time while we were 100 yards away putting the other stuff down. Bruce went to go be with him and as far as we know, he didn’t make it to the park.”

Michael was last seen around 12:30 p.m. in the area of the school playground wearing a blue-hooded jacket with red lining and red cuffs, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shit, multi-coloured rugby pants and blue sneakers.

Since his disappearance 24 years ago, more than 11,000 tips have been received by police and the case has spawned one of the largest police investigations in Canadian history.

The family and community are working hard to keep Michael’s case in the public eye with annual drives and the Michael Dunahee Slo-pitch Tournament of Hope in August.

The 24th annual softball tournament was started by the Victoria Labour Council to help fundraise for Child Find B.C. and the Michael Dunahee Search Centre.

Hundreds of people are expected to come out and watch the 24 teams in action.

“I think people will take away what they’ve always taken away which is hope, hope for our children, hope for a better future,” said Steve Orcherton, executive director with Child Find B.C.

Last year they raised just over $12,000, a goal they hope to beat this year. All the money raised goes towards Child Find B.C. to help fund its services, such as ID kits, and literature and education programs, which are currently offered for free to families.

“As a family, it’s very heartwarming to know that the community is still supportive and there for us all the time,” Crystal said. “We just do whatever we can to keep hope alive because we just don’t know. We just have to keep going and keep it out there so people don’t forget.”

The tournament runs from Aug. 7-9 at Topaz Park. For more information, visit childfindbc.com.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Metchosin ecologist Andy MacKinnon is raising alarm bells for arbutus trees, as many are falling victim to a fungus called leaf blights. The leaves and branches of the trees are turning brown or black and then dropping off, eventually killing them. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
Vancouver Island arbutus trees fighting for survival against parasites

Many trees weakened, turning black or brown and dying, says local ecologist

Applied theatre researcher Dennis Gupa wearing a traditional Filipino malong at a local beach in Victoria. (Credit: John Threlfall)
UVic researcher uses theatre to empower marginalized voices, fight climate change

Dennis Gupa looks to create new modes of expression, knowledge sharing

Sooke resident Lesa Cro started up a new pet waste removal business. Cro goes to yards in the region, removes all of the waste and then composts it, so that it doesn’t go into landfills. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
New pet poop-scooping business picks up in Sooke

Poop No More service taking the ‘dirty work’ out of lawn cleaning

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read