Langley country superstar Dallas Smith, NHL hockey legend Theo Fleury, and Vancouver Canucks alumni Dave Babych will be part of Aldergrove resident Andy Bhatti’s Celebrity Home-Run Derby on Thursday, July 22.
Bhatti has overcome poverty and drug addiction since going public about being sexually abused from ages nine to 13. With multiple charity events each year, he aims to raise awareness about mental health and trauma.
The derby will take place in Abbotsford with health care professionals and firefighters making up the entire audience.
“The other reason a few of the celebrities are in town is so we can film them for our mental health conference that we will be giving away free of charge by Zoom, YouTube, and Microsoft Teams,” Bhatti explained.
Addiction doctors, psychiatrists, specialists, treatment centre counsellors, interventionists will all talk about how addiction affects families and loved ones and how to deal with trauma and depression from COVID-19.
“I personally believe everybody has the right to be educated on addiction and mental health,” Bhatti said. “I get about 60 to 100 calls a month from families looking for resources and free information.”
Smith will be preforming at the event while sexual-abuse survivor Theo Fleury will be speaking on his experiences.
A ball game featuring the celebs in attendance will also be livestreamed on July 22.
“Dallas is a big advocate for mental health, not just one of Canada’s best country singers,” Bhatti said.
Vancouver Canucks Kirk McLean and Chris Higgins will also be attending theevent.
The program runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., which can be viewed at www.facebook.com.
Bhatti, who still lives in Langley, created his own non-profit group in 2014 for victims of childhood sexual abuse – called Survivors Supporting Survivors.
It connects people with addiction counselling and supportive services.
At last year’s event, Bhatti raised $4,390 for Sophie’s Place – a safe space in Surrey for sexually abused children.
Those in need of immediate assistance can visit andybhatti.com.
Have a story tip? Email: email@example.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.