Tennis and bocce players rally for the heart

Annual fundraiser event for Kelowna General Hospital takes place Sept. 16 an 17.

  • Aug. 12, 2016 5:00 a.m.

For the 15th consecutive year

For the 15th consecutive year, tennis enthusiasts are invited to get set for the Celebrity Tennis and Bocce by the Lake event, a celebration of community and sport to benefit Kelowna General Hospital.

This year, the event takes place Sept. 16 and 17.

Over the past 14 years, the event has raised  $700,000 to advance cardiac care and rehabilitation services at KGH.

The event, hosted at the Lightbody residence in Kelowna, has become a tradition in the local tennis community.  Money 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 Lightbody and his wife, Marietta, are well known in Kelowna for their effervescent spirit and commitment to philanthropy.  This year, there is a special sentiment surrounding the event, as the community celebrates the life and legacy of Marietta, who passed away July 21 after a courageous battle with cancer.

“The Lightbodys are such an inspiration,” said event organizer, Bettina Muller, with the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.  “Their generosity is incredibly heart-warming.  We feel very privileged to be a part of this event.”

Each year in mid-September, the Lightbodys turn over their property as well as the courts of the Okanagan Mission Tennis Club to tennis and bocce enthusiasts from across the Okanagan.  Participants and spectators enjoy lively action over two days of play.

Also in keeping with tradition, event organizers will be recognizing two individuals for their contributions to the local tennis community.

This year, Johnny Vesterinen and Paul Byrne will be honoured for their work with tennis youth, passion for the sport and their musical talents that have been shared over many years.

The event launches on Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. with top level tennis competition followed by a wine & cheese, sponsored by local wineries, breweries and the Coast Capri Hotel.  Opening ceremonies will feature live music and the Kelowna Pipe Band to set the festive tone for the weekend.

Bocce players are encouraged to play in the Capozzi Family Bocce Championship on Saturday, Sept. 17.

An event banquet will be held on Saturday evening at the Coast Capri Hotel with musical entertainment by Anna Jacyszyn and her trio, and Paul and Johnny sharing some tunes.  There will also be a silent auction, bigger and better than ever before, and raffle for extraordinary vacation getaways.

Al proceed donations will be given to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.

Registration for tennis and bocce players is now open, with spectators and guests also able to purchase day passes and dinner tickets now.  Register online at kghfoundation.com by Tuesday, Sept.13.

Just Posted

Kelowna, Lake Country boarders hit B.C. Games podium

At the Kamloops BC Games, Big White boarders Central Okanagan boarders win medals

Gold for Apex Freestyle Club skier at B.C. Games

Kelowna’s Jordan MacDonald wins gold in Kamloops at the B.C. Winter Games

Feature Friday: Life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Future Olympians sought in Kelowna

RBC Training Ground event evaluates 100 young local athletes

Victory lap to honour Serwa

Big White Ski Resort did a victory lap to honour the skier who won gold in the Olympics

What’s happening

Check out what is happening this weekend in the Okanagan-Shuswap.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Rockets fend off pesky T-birds

Kelowna and Seattle go back and forth in an entertaining WHL affair

Canucks fold 5-3 in first ever trip to Vegas

Daniel Sedin had two points as Canucks fall to the Golden Knights Friday night

That’s a wrap: B.C. Games results after Day 1

Vancouver-Coastal Zone 5 is in the lead for medals Friday at the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Familiar faces head up library board

The executive of the Okanagan Regional Library board remains the same

Sticking the landing at the B.C. Games

Gymnasts talk competition, B.C. Winter Games, and teamwork in Kamloops

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

$153M in federal cash to fund child care, education training in B.C.

Bilateral agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces

Most Read