Doughty's charity grand slam
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
Some National Hockey League stars traded in their sticks for bats to take part in the Drew Doughty Grand Slam for Cancer on Saturday (July 21).
Instead of the usual hockey lineup, local products like Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry played first base, Montreal Canadiens Brandon Prust manned third, San Jose Sharks’ Logan Couture worked second and L.A. Kings’ Doughty took care of shortstop, while Philadelphia Flyers Wayne Simmonds, Toronto Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri and others stood in the field.
“For the most part guys do golf tournaments and stuff like that and I decided to change it up and do a baseball tourney,” Doughty said.
The hockey stars were joined by 180 players registering for the all-day co-ed tournament and about 1,000 people expected to go through host-field Labatt Memorial Park to check out some of the games and snag a few autographs from the dugout.
“Everything’s up about 100 to 130 per cent. Attendance is probably up 300 per cent,” said Mike Van de Ven, marketing director at Skyy Sports, the organizing group for the event in its second year. “Our benchmark we’re looking for is about $20,000.”
Money raised through the event—which included concessions and collectible gifts—goes towards the London and Region Wellspring Cancer Support Centre.
The local non-government funded charity offers people with cancer and their family and friends a way to deal with the illness by providing individuals with a wide range of non-medical programs.
“It was just about time I gave back to the community,” Doughty said, adding he likes to be involved with organization of the event and even helped create the tournament’s championship trophy complete with a baseball signed by the 2011-12 Stanley Cup champion. “I was born and raised here in London and being a role model for young kids I just felt that it’s necessary to do something like this.”
Doughty hit the field to show off his baseball skills, but America’s pastime on Saturday at Labatt Park had a Canadian feel with a sea of NHL jerseys in the stands and questions from fans usually pertaining to hockey—the most popular query probably being when will Doughty be bringing Lord Stanley’s Mug to the Forest City?
“Aug. 23 I’m going to do something for the public in London, but I don’t know where yet,” the 22-year-old said, adding a Stanley Cup ring to his gold medals from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and World Junior Championships in 2008. “Then just have a private party.”
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