NHLers return for a cause that hits close to home
KELOWNA, BC, May 30, 2023 – Batter up! The Gorges-Comeau Homebase Charity All-Star Game returns to Elks Stadium on Friday, June 23.
Tickets go on sale today!
All proceeds from the game are dedicated to supporting the KGH Foundation’s ‘Closer to Home than you think’ campaign, specifically, its commitment to providing immediate and systemic support for local mental health care services and programs.
The hilarious, much-beloved community event features an impressive roster of current and retired NHL players who have bravely chosen to swap their sticks for bats in support of health care in a community that holds a special place in many of their hearts.
Presented by Raymond James since its inception in 2018, the event (which also includes a charity softball tournament) has raised over $564,000 for local health care in the Central Okanagan. At first, funds raised were in support of the campaign for JoeAnna’s House. In recent years, the event’s founders, former Kelowna Rockets Josh Gorges and Blake Comeau, have refocused their commitment towards mental health, a cause that hits close to home for both athletes and the community in general.
“Mental health challenges affect so many people and there is still stigma associated with it,” says Gorges, hometown hero and retired NHL defenseman. “That needs to change. People don’t need judgment. They need our help. This is why it is so important to Blake and me that we host this event to support mental health care services right here, in our home community.”
The action-packed weekend kicks off on Friday, June 23 with the much anticipated and always hilarious ALL-STAR game. A pre-game autograph signing session from 5 – 6 p.m. (limited tickets available, first-come-first-served basis). Then, fans can take in all the action as Josh Gorges and co-host, Dallas Stars’ winger, Blake Comeau, lead their celebrity teams of active and retired NHL stars, along with local celebrities, in an entertaining softball showdown.
The star-studded rosters feature hockey legends like Carey Price, Shea Weber and Luke Schenn, alongside exciting newcomers such as Ethan Bear (Vancouver Canucks), Damon Severson (NJ Devils) and Tylor Bouck (former Vancouver Canuck). This is an extraordinary opportunity to witness your favourite players in a different arena and demonstrate their skills in a whole new way. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. On Saturday, teams will gear up again for tournament play. If you’re ready to step up to the plate, team registration is now open. Don’t miss your chance to compete alongside NHL stars and local heroes in an event that unites our community for a greater cause. Sign up online at kghfoundation.com/homebase.
Homebase is more than a fun sporting event—it’s a call to action to support mental health care and programs right here in our community. Every dollar raised will support crucial initiatives addressing the mental health care crisis, a central focus of the KGH Foundation’s ambitious $40 million ‘Closer to home than you think‘ campaign.
“Homebase helps catalyze the community’s desire ability to drive health care forward and provide for the most urgent needs of the people who live in the interior of BC,” says Chandel Schmidt, VP of Philanthropic Programs for the KGH Foundation. “This event embodies the spirit of our community, uniting individuals from all walks of life to support mental health care, a cause that is closer to home than you think for so many. Together, we can create lasting change right here in our community, where it matters most.”
“One way or another, mental health care challenges affect all of us,” says Erica Whiteley, Branch Manager at Raymond James Ltd. in Kelowna, the event’s presenting sponsor. “And because it affects all of us, we all need to pitch in to help. Big or small, we can all make a difference.”
She adds with a smile, “And Team Raymond James is swinging for the fences this year!”
“We are grateful for our partnership with Josh and Blake, Raymond James Ltd. in Kelowna, our official media sponsors, Kelowna Capital News, KelownaNow, Stingray Media stations New Country 100.7 and K96.3, and so many other sponsors and supporters who help make this event happen,” says Schmidt.
“And, of course, to all in our community who come out to support. Together, we all have a part to play on a very special ‘Home Team.’”
Wanna play ball? Purchase your game tickets and/or register your team today at kghfoundation.com/homebase.
About the KGH Foundation
Since 1978, the KGH Foundation has worked with a generous community to raise funds to support world-class healthcare close to home for a rapidly expanding and diverse population in the interior of B.C. Today, the KGH Foundation is the lead fundraising organization for Kelowna General Hospital and its associated facilities, JoeAnna’s House and Central Okanagan Hospice House.
About Raymond James
Raymond James is a leading North American independent full service investment dealer offering an extensive range of professional investment services and products, including: private client services, financial and estate planning services, portfolio management, insurance, equity research, investment banking, and institutional sales and trading. Through its network of approximately 8,500 financial advisors across Canada, the United States and key international centres, Raymond James manages more than US$71.26 trillion in client assets under administration. For more information about Raymond James, please visit www.raymondjames.ca.
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