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Charity poker and softball tournaments will help Aldergrove families struggling with cancer

Mangat family is looking to make up for lost time and funds after COVID cancelled annual fundraiser
Jody Mangat’s charity baseball team is gearing up to play again in a tournament to fight cancer on Aug. 28 and 29. (Special to The Star)

Poker and baseball – two recreational pastimes that, thanks to Aldergrove resident Jodi Mangat, will have a charitable spin that will go towards fighting cancer.

The Mangat family had previously held an annual poker tournament that had raked in more than $30,000 in the past five years.

COVID-19 put a stop to the event in 2020, which typically attracts dozens of players to legion branch #265 for a night of both fun and generosity.

“Normally, each year our family does a poker tournament fundraiser and we donate the funds either directly to BC Cancer or to a family/individual,” Mangat explained. “Due to COVID, we weren’t able to put on our poker tournament last year, and this year was too short notice for us to fundraise before the tournament.”

Despite the ongoing pandemic altering plans and personally affecting the health of many, Mangat said the memories of those lost to cancer are still fresh.

READ MORE: Fighting cancer by playing poker – Aldergrove daughter goes ‘all in’ for late mother

The origins of poker night stem from the loss of her mother, Kaur Dhillon, who passed away in December of 2014. More recently, her friend Amrik ‘Moti’ Basi passed away from the disease in January of this year.

“This is who I fundraise for,” Mangat assured. “In memory of our loved ones. Our family will continue to help families affected by cancer.”

The poker fundraiser will return on Saturday night, Aug. 21, at the Aldergrove Legion in memory of Basi, while a charity softball tournament will take place the following weekend, Aug. 28 and 29 in Aldergrove at Philip Jackman fields.

“We’re looking for a minimum 10 teams and once we have them we’ll confirm the tournament,” she said, hoping the tournament will help make up for lost funds from last year. “[The] entry fee will be $400 a team with all proceeds being donated.”

Most of the money has gone towards BC Cancer, though nearly $6,000 has assisted Aldergrove families, struggling, in the midst of the disease.

For more information or to sign up for the poker tournament or softball tournament, Mangat can be reached at 604-825-1594.

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