Bats for a Cause raised over $141,000 at last years fundraiser. Photo: Facebook.

Fundraising rivalry gets new player for Kelowna’s Bats for a Cause

A friendly competition between fundraisers adds a new dimension

It’s the 11th year of Bats for a Cause, and the rivalry between passionate fundraisers is getting a twist this season.

Mike Bridge, who’s fund-raised for eight of the seasons, has a competitive streak going with fellow fundraiser Greg Macfarlane. The two use their friendly rivalry to raise as much as possible for the event, and it all gets donated to BC Children’s Hospital.

“I have friends that have used the hospital, and they have nothing but good things to say. They put a lot of time and effort (into this), and it’s a lot of fun to be around,” said Bridge.

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This year, Bridges fundraising goal is $10,000, and he’s getting a new twist this year with his co-workers challenge to raise and additional $10,000. If Bridge is successful, co-worker Mike Delbucchia will shave his head and beard.

“He said he loves what (us) goings are doing,” said Bridge, who said that Delbucchia also hasn’t seen a barber in quite some time.

Bridge lives on the Westside and said that the fundraiser has been growing in teams every year with invited teams coming from Peachland and West Kelowna. He’s brought in six teams personally, and there are 20 teams currently registered.

He said that there could be 30 to 35 teams when the tournament starts July 27 at Mission Sports Field.

“I’d love to bring in more teams and grow the tournament to 50 to 60 teams,” said Bridge. “Two divisions which are a lot of fun, with wooden bats. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s all about the kids and raising money and having fun.”

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Since the Bats for A Cause started there has been more than $635,000 raised, with more than $141,000 being raised last year.

The fundraiser invites all levels of teams to register, but registration comes with a promise of raising at least $1,000.

Bridge organizes empty cans and bottle collections, beer and burger nights at Edgewater Pub in Peachland, and even has family in the Lower Mainland gathering collections for the Kelowna fundraiser to meet his $20,000 goal, which comes with an added bonus of coworker Delbucchia getting a new summer haircut.

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As for his rivalry with Macfarlane, Bridge admits he’s behind in the race, but isn’t worried.

“We have a lot of fun with banter over the year, he’s leading right now, but I got a few tricks up my sleeve.”

Visit Bridge’s GoFundMe or go to bcchf.ca/batsforacause for more information.

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