18 teams gathered under a cooling canopy of cloud at the North Vancouver bocce pits on August 15 for a DSRF summer tradition: the 15th Annual Benefits of Bocce tournament, presented by Manulife Financial.
The rain held off for a 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 72 players vying for the championship trophy.
Turbocce, representing Westcoast Actuaries, Inc. and comprised of players Steve O'Grady, Iryna Nevill, Spenser McCaig and Chris Jin, got hot at just the right time. Despite entering the playoffs as the 8th seed, the foursome pulled off upset after upset to claw their way to the Benefits of Bocce championship. They knocked off the equally surprising 7th seeded DownSide Up (DSRF's Glen Hoos, Maria Marano, Nimet Tejpar and young sharpshooter Nathan Boal) in a gold medal match that came down to a single ball tiebreaker. Meanwhile, Morneau Shepell's Freudian Slips (Paul Slakov, Eileen Taylor, Glenn Mathes and Susan Rai) took home the bronze medals.
The event raised over $10,000, 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 Manulife Financial, Burnaby Firefighters, Neil Squire Society, Neptune Terminals, Vancity, Tim Hortons, Presto Catering, Palm Bay and Labatt, as well as over 30 generous individuals and companies who donated prizes for the silent auction and raffle (see below for a complete listing).
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. A special thank you to Alan Black, Leah Wosk and Susan Juilfs for their support.
Prize Sponsors: Authentic Wine, BC Lions, Birkenhead Lake Properties, Burrows Luongo, Capilano Suspension Bridge, City of Burnaby, EA SPORTS, Ebo Restaurant at Villa, Empire Life, Fly Over Canada, Inn at the Quay, Lago Apparel, Mills Basics, Moveo, Paradise Coffee, PNE, Rocco's Deli, Safeway, Salon M2, Sewell's Marina, Seymour Golf, Skechers, Sleep Country, Vancity, Vancouver Giants, Vancouver Golf Club, Vancouver Trolley Company, Villa Casino (Personas), Westcoast Sightseeing
Thank you for your support; we'll see you again next year!