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Aldergrove family’s annual poker tourney helps Delta family fight cancer

Since 2015, the family of Surjit Dhillon has been raising funds in her memory

Aldergrove’s Mangat family is holding its 10th annual poker fundraiser at the Royal Canadian Legion’s Aldergrove branch on Saturday, June 8, to raise funds to help families battling childhood cancer.

Since 2015, the family has held fundraisers to honour the memory of Jodi Mangat’s mother, Surjit Dhillon, who passed away of pancreatic cancer at age 72 – in 2014.

“Our family witnessed first hand how this disease can take over a families’ life, and completely devastate it,” Mangat shared.

This year, Mangat connected with mom Jace Turner whose son, five-year-old Oli, was diagnosed with b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Oli began treatment within 24 hours of being diagnosed, and faces a treatment plan spanning a minimum of three years. The most intense phase of his treatment is unfolding now and is expected to last up to 12 months.

Turner said her focus is on Oli’s well being, and is taking time off work to support him through his journey.

“The financial strain of a single mother with a significantly reduced income weighs heavy,” she shared.

“Mounting expenses from frequent hospital visits and medical supplies, physical and emotional therapies, make life even more difficult to sustain.”

The Mangat family’s annual fundraisers started with one poker night a year, which grew to two poker nights a year. And now, in addition to the poker nights, they host a softball tournament in August, all focusing on helping families affected by childhood cancers.

“This is in memory of mom,” Mangat said.

“We need to take a moment to remember those we have lost, and be thankful for those we still have with us. Seeing so much love in one room is heartwarming, and no words can describe what that means to me.”

The annual event has been growing each year, raising $80,000 since its inception, Mangat estimated.

At the recent February fundraiser, nearly $6,000 was collected.

Mangat shared her thanks for the event’s sponsors, Aldergrove Elks, Aldergrove legion, and Coast Industrial Maintenance & Machine Ltd. based in Port Kells.

“Over the years we have grown and the community has helped us and our fundraisers get bigger and bigger,” Mangat said, sharing her gratitude for the community’s support.

The poker night has a limit of 108 players, and there is a wait list. There is a $75 buy-in, and a $20 top-up, with a buffet dinner included.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and the tournament starts on the dot at 1 p.m. Tickets can be bought by calling Mangat at 604-825-1594.

The Aldergrove legion is located at 26607 Fraser Hwy.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Aldergrove legion hosts Mangat family’s 9th annual poker fundraiser

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm honoured to focus my career in the growing community of Aldergrove and work with our many local organizations.
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