June 20, 2019 12:59 am
Updated: June 20, 2019 12:53 pm

JoeAnna’s House fundraiser organized by NHLers Gorges, Comeau

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Two professional hockey players who started their careers playing for the WHL in Kelowna have organized a fundraiser for JoeAnna’s House.

Blake Comeau, a right winger with the NHL Dallas Stars, and retired NHLer Josh Gorges have put together the Homebase Tournament to help the KGH Foundation project.

The $8 million home-away-from-home facility will be complete by December and will accommodate out-of-town families who are accessing medical care at Kelowna General Hospital.

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“You hear the stories about people wondering where they’re going to stay, the amount of cost for parking, food and things like that,” Comeau said. “I just felt like if I were in their shoes having a young family that would be something really hard to deal with. You want all the energy to be on getting healthy.”

WATCH BELOW: Construction begins on JoeAnna’s House

Gorges felt giving back to the community that supported them in their youth is an important achievement.

“The platform that we have, playing hockey, both playing for the Kelowna Rockets, [and then] going on to play in the NHL, [the opportunity] comes with a little bit of responsibility and I think we both know that,” Gorges said. “We know that this is an opportunity for us to use this platform to do some good, do some good for a city and a community that’s done a lot of good for us.”

“I think it’s payback time.”

The money raised at the Homebase ball tournament on the weekend of June 28/29 in Kelowna will go toward operation of the JoeAnna’s House.

READ MORE: KGH hosting third annual Day of Giving on Thursday

Comeau and Gorges held a fundraising dinner for their friends and supporters on Wednesday night at 50th Parallel Winery in Lake Country.

Global Okanagan’s Klaudia Van Emmerik was invited to MC the event.

“The community support has been absolutely incredible,” KGH Foundation’s director of annual programs, Chandel Schmidt, said. “The $8 million we hit far before we thought we were going to, but of course JoeAnna’s House is going to need to be up and running for many, many years to come, so we need to make sure we’ve got the funds there to keep the doors open and keep the families coming in and give them that safe place away from home.”

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Volunteers are still needed for the Elk’s Stadium event and information can be found here.

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