At Unwin Park in 2016, the Thrashers and Wolverines battle in a key game during SEMO Foundation’s annual charity ball hockey tournament. (File photo)

Surrey ball hockey tourney sticks up for those who need food, shelter and clothing

14 teams in action at Unwin Park during two-day event to benefit SEMO Foundation

If the annual dollar amount rises accordingly, a charity ball hockey tournament in Newton should collect around $20,000 this weekend (Aug. 10-11).

At Unwin Park on 68th Avenue, the two-day Triton Law tournament is organized to raise money for the SEMO Foundation’s efforts to feed, clothe and shelter people in the Surrey area.

So far, 14 teams are confirmed to play three-on-three games during the fourth-annual tourney.

“Last year was our best one, with $15,000 raised,” said event organizer Manny Kang. “The first year it was $5,000, the next one was $10,000 – pretty bang-on every year. So the goal this year is $20,000, depending on how generous people are.”

Each team pays $200 to play in the tournament, which raises money through cash donations and raffle draws for donated items.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey ball hockey fundraiser draws NHL player’s support.

Among event sponsors is Surrey-raised NHL player Brenden Dillon, who plays for San Jose Sharks and is a longtime friend of Akash Kathuria, another organizer of the tournament.

“It’s great because Dillon is sending a whole bunch of gear again, some of his personal stuff that’s been autographed, so that’ll be auctioned off, or raffled off,” Kang explained.

SEMO Foundation is named in honour of Kang’s mother, Tarsem “Semo” Kang, whose philanthropic ideals inspired Kang to create the charity about a decade ago, to help others.

“She had a vision to do more in the community,” Kang told the Now-Leader following last year’s tournament.

“Her thing was always about bringing people together and helping those in need. Our mantra is food, clothes and shelter, so the funds we get at a tournament like this, we distribute them throughout the community.”

The foundation (semofoundation.com) works with organizations including Surrey Food Bank, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre and Surrey Christmas Bureau, among others, and they also help other groups that come to them.

This weekend’s tournament will feature one playing area, not two as in previous years, in order “to keep the energy up in one central area,” Kang said.

Food will be available by donation, he added.

“We are grateful for the entire team at Triton Law and together are dedicated in making this year’s tournament the biggest success to date,” says an event post on the foundation website. “This tournament will feature two days of competition for all skill levels, draws, prizes and much more. We thank the many businesses that have committed to sponsoring this special event or donating prizes to create another successful and memorable tournament.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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