Organizers of the first annual Mangat Family Softball tournament in Aldergrove were able to pull together a 12-team competition and cancer fundraiser in just three weeks.
Held this past weekend, on Aug. 28 and 29, at Phillip Jackman Park, the event honoured the memory of Surjit Dhillon, Jodi Mangat’s mother, and Amrik “Moti” Bassi, a close family friend of the Mangats, both of whom passed away from cancer.
There was a beer garden, facepainting, a balloon artist, barbecue lunch “and some great memories,” Jodi Mangat said.
“The amount of support was overwhelming.”
Usually, the Mangat family puts together a poker fundraiser each year, but due to COVID-19, capacity was limited this year. Plus they wanted to raise more for the cause.
With the blessing of the BC Cancer Agency, the Mangat family has been donating a portion of the proceeds from past fundraisers to individual families who are going through tough times due to cancer.
This year, the Mangat family reached out to Tonya Annecchini, whose son Chase has been battling neuroblastoma since August 2020.
Chase’s journey hit close to home with the Mangat’s older son, Justin, who has two young boys of his own.
Neuroblastoma is an aggressive childhood cancer that requires tough and invasive treatment plan with some of the treatments only available outside of Canada.
Tonya and two of her sons, Cole and Tyson, attended the softball tournament and gave some more insight into Chase’s journey and some of the challenges they have faced and must still face in the future.
“It was a weekend filled with love, support, tears and fun and there are no words to describe the overwhelming support from our our donors, volunteers, the community and all the players who came out,” Jodi told the Langley Advance Times. “We are already planning on how we can make next year even bigger and better.”
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