A who’s who of Vancouver-area sports personalities were front and centre at Hazelmere Golf Course Wednesday evening, as the local chapter of KidSport BC held its annual Nite of Champions gala.
The fundraising dinner – the eighth for the Surrey/White Rock chapter – featured among its guests former Vancouver Canucks Geoff Courtnall, Kirk McLean and Jyrki Lumme, as well as current Vancouver Giants blue-liner Bowen Byram, who is a first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche and one of the National Hockey League’s top prospects.
In addition to the celebrity guests, Wednesday’s event also saw Pete Quevillon, former KidSport BC president, be awarded the Greg Long Award for “making a difference in the community.”
According to local chapter president Ronnie Paterson – owner of the White Rock Whalers junior ‘B’ hockey team – this year’s event raised $103,000 for KidSport, which helps cover sports registration costs for young athletes whose families could not otherwise afford to pay.
In past years, guests at Nite of Champions galas have included Brian Burke, Trevor Linden, hockey player-turned country musician Chad Brownlee and longtime NHL and junior-hockey coach Mike Johnston, a former Peninsula resident who now coaches the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.
The 2019 event featured current Canucks head coach Travis Green as the keynote speaker.
As well, the event has in the past also served to honour the accomplishments of local youth athletes, including members of the White Rock-South Surrey baseball team that advanced to the Little League World Series in 2017 and Coastal FC’s U17 girls soccer team that won a national championship in 2018.