20 teams braved one of the hottest days of the year August 20 as they gathered in North Vancouver for a DSRF summer tradition: the 16th Annual Benefits of Bocce tournament, presented by Raymond James/HMB Financial.
It was a spectacular day of fun, food, friends and fundraising in support of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. It didn't take long for newcomers to learn why others have described it as their favourite charitable event of the year, as good-natured rivalries quickly sprung up amongst the 80 players vying for the championship trophy.
The Fortello Bros., one of the tournament's founding teams, lived up to their formidable reputation, fending off one challenger after another to make it through the round robin schedule undefeated. The number one seeds then swept their way through the playoffs to claim the championship trophy.
The Aon Athletes put up a great fight, making it all the way to the final before falling to the champions and settling for silver. In the bronze medal game, Best Coast Bocce (representing Westcoast Actuaries) got the better of Happy Money Balls, who did our lead sponsors proud.
Even more important than the results in the pits was the fact that the event raised over $16,000, which will help empower individuals with Down syndrome through DSRF's research and educational programming. For more information on DSRF or to make a donation, please visit DSRF.org.
Benefits of Bocce was sponsored by Raymond James/HMB Financial, Manulife Financial, the River Rock Casino Resort, Burnaby Firefighters, Neil Squire Society, Neptune Terminals, Presto Catering, Rigaramole and the Cannoli King, as well as over 30 generous individuals and companies who donated prizes for the silent auction and raffle.
On behalf of DSRF's students, families, board and staff, thank you to all players, donors, sponsors and volunteers for standing "Together. Hand in Hand." with all who are walking the journey of Down syndrome.
Thank you for your support; we'll see you again next year!