It was a sold out crowd at Elk’s Stadium in Kelowna on Friday night as 17 NHL players took to the ball diamond instead of the ice rink for a charity event.
“It’s nice that this day finally came,” retired NHL player Josh Gorges said.
Gorges is the co-organizer of the Homebase Slo-Pitch Tournament, a two-day event that raises money for JoeAnna’s House.
“We’re out here trying to raise money, awareness for a great cause for our community,” Gorges said. “We were blown away last year with the amount of money that we brought in.”
READ MORE: NHL players gather in Kelowna for fundraiser
JoeAnna’s house is under construction near Kelowna General Hospital and will be a home-away-from-home for out-of-town families seeking medical treatment.
In 2018, the tournament raised $117,000 for JoeAnna’s House, which will be complete before Christmas.
“You play against these guys on the ice. You have those competitive games where you’re roughing each other up a little bit. But at the end of the day, everyone’s great people,” co-organizer and Dallas Stars right winger Blake Comeau said. “They’re all excited to be part of this.”
Before the Friday All-Star game, the players signed autographs for fans, who lined up back to centre field.
The tournament continues Saturday at the Mission Sports Fields and wraps up with playoff games and celebration from 5-7 p.m.