Canada Day weekend saw the likes of Josh Gorges, Blake Comeau, Carey Price, Luke and Brayden Schenn, and other hockey royalty trade their sticks for baseball bats – all for a great local cause.
The KGH Foundation, along with presenting sponsor Raymond James, held the first ever Gorges/Comeau HOMEBASE Charity Slo-Pitch Tournament, raising $117,385 for JoeAnna’s House, a home away from home for families travelling to Kelowna General Hospital.
The event featured an NHL All-Star Match Friday evening at King’s Stadium and tournament play the next day at Mission Sports Fields. It was a culmination of unique expertise and teamwork, thanks to all the event sponsors, dozens of volunteers, 16 co-ed teams, and lastly, the NHL players, all of whom put on quite a show.
From Carey Price opting to play an entire game with his goalie glove, to Josh Gorges asking Mayor Colin Basran to be his pinch runner, to Blake Comeau’s double home run in the bottom of the ninth (yes, you can do that in a charity game) the level of fun and humour was evident, and it was a joy to watch.
In his blog, radio announcer Regan Bartel, co-host of the Friday night All-Star Match described it as “the best charity event I have been involved with in my time in Kelowna … it was a massive success.” He goes on to reference his connection to the cause having spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at KGH after the birth of his twin boys in 2003. “Had we not lived in Kelowna, how could we afford to see our babies on a daily basis while facing the challenge of the high risk pregnancy?”
Indeed, the road towards building JoeAnna’s House has some new pavement thanks to the weekend’s slo-pitch success. The 20-bedroom house located steps from KGH is set to break ground this fall with an estimated completion of fall 2019.
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