Kevin Misumi went to the University of British Columbia for his first year of science studies — and came back with an idea for a charity fundraiser. He’s hoping it will be the first of many ALS charity ball hockey tournaments in Hope.
“At UBC, one of the students organized a ball hockey tournament for a different cause,” Misumi said. “I thought I could do the same in Hope.”
Misumi is working on pipeline maintenance this summer but has used his spare time to bring together eight teams for the event, which will run throughout the day on Saturday, at the Memorial Park sport court.
He also has pulled together an impressive number of local sponsors who have given cash, such as Nestlé Waters, McDonalds and Panago, or supplied prizes for raffles, such as Kimchi restaurant and Valley Helicopters.
“The community has really been good,” said the Hope secondary 2013 grad.
“Buy & Save is donating hot dogs and condiments for the event and the rec centre is letting us use the hockey nets, tables and hopefully the (portable) scoreboard,” said Misumi. “And Envision is lending us their tent for the day.”
He anticipates more donations to come in from the business community to help with the barbecue and raffle draw.
Players pay a $10 entry fee for the three-game guarantee tournament that will kick off at 10 a.m. and close at around 7 p.m. with a championship match between the top teams from the A and B sides.
Throughout the day, barbecue and beverage sales will generate further funds for the cause, with proceeds going to ALS Canada.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” is a debilitating degenerative disease of the nervous system that slowly kills the affected person.
Misumi has known two Hope residents that succumbed to ALS.
“I decided to organize this event specifically for Janice Carrat and Ronald Young,” he said. “Janice was one of my mom’s good friends, so I saw her quite a bit, growing up. She was always there to point me in the right direction and give me a reality check when I needed one.”
Carrat passed away in 2009 at the age of 53.
Her sister Shari is donating the banner for the event, which will be attached to the court fencing.
“Ron was the middle brother of Randy, Darren, Tim and Dave Young,” said Misumi. “When I started working at Canyon Shell in 2012, he’d always stop in and he’d come and see my hockey games. Although I had only known him a few short years, he proved to me how much better a good laugh could make you feel.”
“The disease progressed really quickly for him,” added Misumi.
Young died in August of 2013. Like Carrat, he was only 53 years old.
Young’s brother Randy is supplying all of the team T-shirts for the tournament, which will be officiated by Blake Deschenes of Hope and Austin MacGregor of Chilliwack.
The public is welcome to come and add their community spirit to the event.