Kelowna tournament continues despite death in family

Lightbody event held at private residence, raises money for the KGH Foundation

Each year at this time, the Lightbody property in Kelowna is turned over to tennis and bocce enthusiasts from across the Okanagan.

And this year, there will be a new event for Sunday – a 25km scenic cycle, a leisurely ride for all levels. It will also continue with heavy hearts this year.

The event, hosted by Walley Lightbody at his home on Abbott St., has become a tradition in the local tennis community. And it’s been a popular fundraiser as well with money raised directed towards specific, live-saving equipment at KGH, as well as exercise equipment at the C.O.A.C.H. cardiac rehabilitation program.

Well known in the community, Lightbody’s wife Marietta passed away in July of 2016. After her passing Lightbody decided to continue the annual event, which after 15 years, has raised a staggering $750,000 to advance cardiac care and rehabilitation services at KGH.

The event launched Friday evening with a top level tennis competition followed by a wine and cheese reception. Tennis is continuing through the day along with the Capozzi Family Bocce Ball Tournament, followed by a banquet dinner at the Coast Capri hotel.

Sunday brings more recreational tennis, and a beautiful 25km scenic cycle all around the lower mission. All proceeds from the weekend’s festivities will be donated to the KGH Foundation

“Walley and his commitment to philanthropy, even in the wake of Marietta’s passing, is nothing short of inspirational,” said event organizer, Bettina Muller from the KGH Foundation. “We’re honoured to be involved, and so thankful at the generosity of all of the participants, who are making a big impact in this community.”