Strangers reunite 18 years after random act of 50/50 kindness at Edmonton baseball game

Click to play video: 'Global News reunites Seattle family with generous strangers from St. Albert' Global News reunites Seattle family with generous strangers from St. Albert
It’s a thank you that was 18 years in the making. When Leo Bruce was less than a year old, baseball fans at a game in Edmonton gifted him something that his family has never forgotten and now, after much searching, he’s finally able to say thank you. Sarah Ryan reports – Jun 6, 2022

It was the summer of 2004 and as St. Albert senior Lorraine Stevenson describes it, was “a great, warm day — and the beer was cold.”

Stevenson and her friend Georgina George were taking in the 2004 Women’s Baseball World Cup at the old Telus Field near downtown Edmonton, when a young couple with a baby sat down in front of them.

“We were enjoying their company so much and he was just the cutest little baby with the chubby cheeks,” George said.

At some point, she decided to buy a few 50/50 tickets, including one she gave to the baby — “for his education.”

That 50/50 ticket went on to win the pot, more than $700 — big money in those days.

Read more: Family hopes to show appreciation for random act of kindness, 18 years later

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But as much as the parents of the baby tried, George and Stevenson wouldn’t take the cash. They said the baby won it, fair and square.

“I thought, ‘Hey, it’s only money,'” George recalled.

As the years went on, the memory faded.

“We used to talk about it for a while, and then all of a sudden we forgot,” Stevenson said.

Click to play video: 'Family hopes to show appreciation for random act of 50/50 kindness, 18 years later' Family hopes to show appreciation for random act of 50/50 kindness, 18 years later
Family hopes to show appreciation for random act of 50/50 kindness, 18 years later – May 26, 2022

That is, until a few weeks ago, when the Bruce family from Seattle reached out to Global News for help finding kind strangers who’d given them a priceless gift 18 years ago.

After airing the story looking for seniors who’d generously purchased a 50/50 for the Bruce’s baby, Leo, friends of Stevenson and George reached out, and Global News was able to make the connection.

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You see, Leo is now 18 and the Bruce’s have made good on their promise — he’s heading to the University of British Columbia this fall.

Leo Bruce is off to university in the fall, with a $1,000 scholarship of sorts, thanks to the generosity of strangers. Courtesy: Sharon Bruce

There, he plans to study kinesiology and one day become a chiropractor.

The family wanted to share the good news with those strangers, after all this time.

“It was nice to get that flashback to remember everything again. Really nice. Great memory, great memory,” Stevenson said.

“That’s really special, that they even tried to reach out to us. That just shows the kind of people they are, also that it did mean something,” George added.

Read more: Multi-day Edmonton Oilers 50/50 to support Ukraine humanitarian efforts

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The two women have remained friends all this time, and still get together regularly.

They were thrilled to receive phone calls from the Bruce’s, and learn about Leo’s ambitions.

“He’s going to Vancouver, coming back to Canada to get his education, how nice is that? With his Canadian money!” Stevenson laughed.

The Bruces pose with the winnings from a 50/50 draw they never bought a ticket for. Courtesy: Sharon Bruce

Leo himself couldn’t believe we were able to unite the parties.

“It was pretty cool, because I didn’t think it would happen,” he smiled.

“It’s a cool thing to reflect on. We got to see these people 18 years ago and now we’ve got to talk to them 18 years later. It’s a cool thing we’ll keep with us.”

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His mom, Sharon Bruce, said it was effortless talking to the women — as if they weren’t really strangers, after all.

“It’s a nice ending for us, definitely. Just because it’s been a memory that we’ve always had. Just to be able to say hi to them, know that they’re still with us and they’re well,” she said.

“Just to let them know we’ve been thinking about them, after all this time.”

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