Tennis and Bocce by the Lake annual fundraiser is set for Sept. 15 to 17 at Walley Lightbody’s residence on Abbott Street. -Image: Contributed

Lightbody tennis tournament into 16th year

Tennis and Bocce by the Lake charity event raises funds for Kelowna General Hospital

Tennis, bocce ball and cycling enthusiasts are invited to the 16th annual Tennis and Bocce by the Lake event, a celebration of community and sport to benefit Kelowna General Hospital.

The event, to be held from Sept. 15 to 17 and hosted by Walley Lightbody at his home on Abbott St., has become a tradition in the local tennis community.

Monies raised will be directed towards specific, live-saving equipment for the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre at KGH, as well as exercise equipment at the C.O.A.C.H. cardiac rehabilitation program. The intention behind the gift is to enhance prevention, health and wellness for those living with heart disease in the region.

Walley and his late wife, Marietta, are well known in Kelowna for their effervescent spirit and commitment to philanthropy.

After Marietta’s passing in July 2016, Walley made the courageous decision to continue the annual event, which after 15 years, has raised a staggering $750,000 to advance cardiac care and rehabilitation services at KGH.

“Walley and his commitment to philanthropy, even in the wake of Marietta’s passing, is nothing short of inspirational,” says event organizer, Bettina Muller from the KGH Foundation, the beneficiary of the event’s proceeds. “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.”

Each year in mid-September, the Lightbody property is turned over to tennis and bocce enthusiasts from across the Okanagan. And this year, there will be a new event – a 25km scenic cycle, a leisurely ride for all levels.

The event launches on Sept. 15 at 4 p.m., with a top level tennis competition followed by a wine &cheese reception. Saturday, Sept. 16, there will be team tennis play all day, along with the Capozzi Family Bocce Ball Tournament, followed by a banquet dinner at the Coast Capri hotel. Sunday brings more tennis, this time featuring Kelowna’s top junior athletes, 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.

Registration for tennis, bocce and cycling is now open, with spectators and guests also able to purchase day passes and dinner tickets. Register online at www.kghfoundation.com by Tuesday, Sept. 12.