Testimonial - Paula Bishop
I just wanted to say thank you for arranging such an amazing opportunity for the players and families that were a part of the “Cuba Goodwill Tour”. This trip was so much more than a baseball tournament, it was a life changing experience for all of us.
The players have a new appreciation for what they have, because of what they saw at the ball-fields and the elementary school in Cuba. I know they will never forget the feelings they had when they gave their new Cuban friends their ball gloves, baseballs, cleats right off their feet, and pants right off their legs that final game, or when they handed out school supplies to the little children at the school. These memories will last a lifetime.
The interaction between our players and the Cuban players at the hotel and in the pool was amazing, although they didn’t speak the same language, their common love of baseball was all they needed to become great friends. They played and ate together all day and we were all very emotional when the old Cuban trucks pulled up to take them back to Matanzazs. Thank you for going the extra mile in arranging to have the Cuban team spend the day at the hotel. I am sure those kids will never stop talking about it.
Thanks again Dennis for your two years of hard work that made this all possible.
Paula, Marcus, Justin and Rebecca
Halifax Regional Police
2 Watch – 911 / Police Dispatch
Testimonial - Dale Peterson
On February 1st, 2014 our family joined a group of baseball players and their families travelling on a goodwill baseball trip to Cuba. The group consisted of about 140 people, mainly from Nova Scotia, Canada. The architect and driving force behind the trip was Dennis Woodworth. I can’t say enough about his enthusiasm, work ethic, and professionalism throughout the whole process leading up to, during, and even after the trip. Not only did Dennis take the lead on all the organization and fundraising on the baseball side of things (which was a HUGE job), he also made all of the travel arrangements as he is a professional travel consultant.
It was our family’s first trip to the tropics, and we were not disappointed. We left one of the coldest winters I can remember and spent an awesome sun-filled week in Cuba where the temperature was near 30 C everyday, and the water was about 25 C. We spent many hours floating around in the ocean. We flew with Sunwing Airlines and had great flights there and home. While in Cuba we stayed at the Memories Resort in Varadero. It was very beautiful and clean. I think every staff member greeted us with a friendly “Ola !” everywhere we went on the resort. The kids really enjoyed the pool and water slide, while my wife and I spent more time on the beautiful sandy beach.
There were many goals for this trip besides escaping the cold Canadian winter for a week. The name of the trip was the Nova Scotia – Cuba Goodwill Baseball Tour. Our main goal was to bring two youth baseball teams from Nova Scotia to Matanzas, Cuba, along with as much baseball equipment as we could possibly bring on the plane to donate. Dennis worked on building relationships with the local youth baseball leaders in Matanzas and really had a good idea of the needs that the kids had. They certainly had a lot of talent and enthusiasm, but they didn’t have a lot of equipment. It was an awesome experience to see how happy the Cuban kids and coaches were to receive new bats, balls, helmets, gloves, cleats and uniforms. Other goals of the trip were to have our kids experience another culture, build lasting relationships with the Cuban ball players in Matanzas and formally invite them to come to Nova Scotia in the summer of 2015 for more baseball games! On our last day in Matanzas, we were finally able to take our whole group to visit an elementary school and deliver a large amount of basic school supplies. I think we were all happy to be able make a difference in the kids’ lives – the smiles we saw over a new colored pencil set were a highlight of this trip.
Another special time for all was when the Cuban ball players and coaches came to spend an afternoon at the resort with us, which bonded our two groups even more. I would say every goal was met on this trip. Our family made many new friends from here and from Cuba. We were proud to be able to take part in this inaugural trip and to be able to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than we are. The warmth and friendliness of the Cuban people has made a lasting difference in our lives as well. Thanks to Memories Varedero, Sunwing Travel and especially Dennis Woodworth for making this such a great experience!
Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia
Testimonial - Ron Such
Our “Canada – Cuba 2014 Goodwill Tour” was a very positive multi-layered adventure. My 14 year old son Keeshaun, had an opportunity to expand his passion for baseball, meet new Cuban baseball buddies and experience some “once in a lifetime/unique” experiences. The highlights for him included playing baseball on Cuban soil, visiting off resort areas, getting to visit Cuban schools and most importantly sharing equipment, clothing and school supplies with the less fortunate. For me, the highlights included walking the streets of Cuban cities, welcoming our Cuban baseball hosts to our resort and watching the Cuban/Canadian players & coaches share their passion for baseball. It was truly a memorable experience!
Testimonial - Paul Hornibrook
The 2014 Nova Scotia Cuba Goodwill Tour was an exceptional experience for me as a coach and as an Association President. First, I had never coached baseball in February and the group of kids selected for this tour was exceptional. Underlying all of this was the fact the group had raise over $15,000 to purchase and deliver baseball equipment to a group who was in desperate need of updated equipment but could not afford nor obtain this type of equipment. Everything for the trip was extremely well organized, buses were always on time, the Cuban group always at the field and very welcoming to us. Our accommodations were great and food was very plentiful and provided everything we needed. Dennis did and exceptional job dealing with parents and those on both sides of the border. He is a travel professional for sure. As President of Fredericton Minor Baseball the experience was so good, we are planning in 2015 to take a team down from our Association and join up with the NS group to again positively affect those less fortunate and give our local kids a baseball experience of a lifetime.
Testimonial - Colin Campbell
Words can not explain my coaching experience down south. If I had to use one though, it would be blown away! Hands down the best time with great people enjoying what we love most. Nothing was better than seeing our kids interacting with their kids during, after games and at the resort.
Dartmouth Arrows Mosquito AAA
2013 Atlantic Champions
2012 BNS Coach of the Year
Testimonial - Mark Penney
The Good Will Cuba Tour was an experience everyone will have forever! A simple game we love so dearly but sometimes take for granted was viewed in an entirely different aspect and area of the world! While communication between teams was rare at best, baseball was the universal language spoken between everyone on the field! This experience not only impacted the players lives but every coach as well! The amount of memories made on this trip is much to extensive to list here. I believe I speak for everyone when I say, “The Cuba Goodwill Tour was most definitely an experience fulfilled with memories we can share forever!”
Dartmouth Minor Baseball
Mosquito AAA Coach