Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Jim Hughson speaks with former White Rock Renegade, and current Canadian women’s national team member, Sara Groenewegen during the Nite of Champions virtual gala. (Contributed photo)

Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Jim Hughson speaks with former White Rock Renegade, and current Canadian women’s national team member, Sara Groenewegen during the Nite of Champions virtual gala. (Contributed photo)

KidSport BC’s virtual Nite of Champions gala raises more than $100,000

‘We are very grateful and very appreciative of everybody’s commitment,’: chapter president

Not even a global pandemic could stop the Surrey/White Rock chapter of KidSport BC from helping out the region’s youngest athletes.

On Tuesday night (March 9), the non-profit group – which raises money to help cover sports registration costs for athletes whose families could not otherwise afford it – held its annual Nite of Champions gala.

Rather than the traditional in-person event, this year it was held online, with athletes and coaches being interviewed by Semiahmoo Peninsula resident, and longtime Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Jim Hughson.

And though organizers didn’t go into Tuesday’s event with any particular fundraising target in mind – largely as a result of challenges individuals and businesses have faced as a result of COVID-19 – the event raised more than $100,000, Ronnie Paterson, president of Surrey/White Rock chapter, told Peace Arch News Wednesday.

“It’s about the same (amount) as previous years, which was interesting. We continue to be in the middle of a pandemic, so for our community to raise these types of funds, it’s tremendous,” he said.

“We are very grateful and very appreciative of everybody’s commitment to our charity.”

The entire event was pre-recorded – interviews with those on National Hockey League teams took place before the season started – and featured Hughson talking with, among others, Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green, Montreal Canadiens stars Shea Weber and Brendan Gallagher, Edmonton Oilers chairman and longtime Hockey Canada CEO Bob Nicholson and Hockey Hall of Fame defenceman Scott Niedermayer.

Canadian national women’s fastpitch team pitcher Sara Groenewegen, as well as former national team member Melanie Matthews, also spoke, and country musician Chad Brownlee performed.

“Feedback we got from people was really great. People really seem to have enjoyed the interview with Travis Green. They got to see an entirely different side of him – talking about growing up in Castlegar and about what sports meant to him growing up,” Paterson said.

While the regular, in-person galas of the past have always included a handful of notable guests, Paterson said the fact that this year’s event was virtual helped attract an even deeper roster of A-list speakers than usual. It’s something that organizers may incorporate in the future, long after the pandemic has subsided, he said.

“You’d be very, very hard-pressed to get this many (high profile) people in the same room at the same time, so maybe there’s a portion of this year’s event we can utilize again,” he said.

“It might be a hybrid situation moving forward. When we can, everyone wants to get together and see each other – that will always be important – but we’ll take what we learned and see what we can do with it.”

This year’s speakers also helped give KidSport a profile boost, Paterson noted, pointing to the fact that Gallagher tweeted out a link to the gala, “And he’s got something like 280,000 Twitter followers.”

“It gives the KidSport brand a nice boost, which is something we’ve been focusing on – making sure that everyone in our community knows that these funds are available.”



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fundraising

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read