Former Vancouver Canucks stars and a World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer are set to hit the softball diamond at Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park on Saturday, all to raise awareness for addiction and mental health.
The Fallen Warriors Softball Tournament has been put together by interventionist Andy Bhatti, with all funds raised from the free event going to help the family of local addiction counsellor and recovery advocate Kenny Elliott in his battle with cancer.
Elliott was diagnosed with the illness a few months ago.
Canucks alumni Chris Higgins, Dave Babych and Cliff Ronning will all be playing in a softball game from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and then signing autographs after the game until approximately 2 p.m. WWE legend Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart will coach that opening game, with his trademark megaphone in hand. He will also sign autographs with the Canucks players.
Autographs are all by donation, with all money going to the Elliott family.
Funds will also be raised through a silent auction at the ballpark, with dozens of items up for bid. These include a Rob Gronkowski-signed New England Patriots helmet, a Vancouver Canucks Brock Boeser autographed jersey and a Shaquille O’Neal-signed Los Angeles Lakers jersey. Bhatti said there will be over $30,000 in sports memorabilia available, and buyers also have the opportunity to bypass the bid and buy the item immediately if they are willing to pay the “buy now” price.
The event also features a free kids game, open to any children interested. That game opens at noon, and both Babych and Hart will be the coaches.
In addition to the celebrities, a day-long tournament takes place, featuring some of the best slo-pitch players in Canada.
“Many people playing in this tournament are high-level slo-pitch players that represent Canada across the border,” Bhatti said. “A few of the guys and girls on my team are sponsored players by companies like Easton, Louisville and Combat. They are playing in support of Kenny. He has made a difference in so many people’s lives.”
Bhatti also stated that there will be several interventionists and counsellors on hand to answer questions. He also said if someone wants to arrange a time to chat with him at the event before Saturday, they can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.