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

Surjit Dhillon honoured 10 years after her passing

Aldergrove saw a ninth successful poker tournament hosted by the legion for the Mangat family’s annual tournament to raise funds to fight 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.

Justin Mangat, son of Jodi and grandson of Dhillon, thanked the community for coming out to Saturday’s (Feb. 17) tournament to support families who are experiencing the challenges of cancer.

“None of this would be possible without everyone coming out today. We are going on the 10 year anniversary since my grandma passed away, and thank you everyone for coming out,” he said at the event.

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

Thanks to 15 volunteers and 68 players, the Saturday tournament raised close to $6,000, short of last year’s $9,000 but it didn’t deter the Mangat family.

“It is a drop from the last one, but it’s okay. We have two more to go. I’m thankful to all our players, sponsors, and volunteers.”

“Our family witnessed first hand how this disease can take over a families’ life, and completely devastate it,” Jodi told the Langley Advance Times.

They 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,” Jodi said. “This will be 10 years since my mom passed, and knowing that everyone in the room remembers her for even a minute makes me so happy knowing her memory is still alive.”

Justin described his grandma as someone who was always caring.

“I think if she could see how much a community was kind of banding around the idea of helping those in need, I think she’d be really appreciative and she would have love that.”

He also expressed his gratitude to the community for their “overwhelming” support.

“We can’t thank the community enough. It’s amazing how much the community has supported us,” Justin said.

The family hopes to continue raising funds for cancer research and support, and Jodi hopeful more people will join in and participate in their future events.

Their next fundraiser is another poker tournament in June, followed by a softball tournament held in July.

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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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