We do our charity work in Dominic's memory, but events like Superhero Night are a good reminder that we do it for all the kids who get help from the Alberta Children's Hospital.
Although we're no longer in the loop when it comes to being hospital parents and knowing lots of kids there, we know there are plenty from southern Alberta who travel to Calgary for specialized care.
Meet Reid (wearing the Red Sox hat in the photo above). He's a Little League player and was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Even though he just finished his first round of chemotherapy, he was able to come home and be a guest of honour Saturday.
The young man beside Reid is Aiden, who's undergone numerous surgeries at the children's hospital including tumours, genetic disorders, and following a nasty accident involving boiling water that had him airlifted to Calgary. He, too, was a guest of honour and they both threw out first pitches.
Truth is, we could get a hundred kids to throw out first pitches any given year. Katelyn, the pageant winner in the photo, threw one in 2022 even though we'd never met her before that night. Turns out she goes to the hospital regularly too! And now she's a big part of our team, helping at all of our events. Incredible.
The Star Wars characters? They've been coming to the game pretty much since it started seven years ago. They're part of a group called The 501st Legion - Vader's Fist. It's an international charity organization featuring dark side characters. Usually seen at comic-cons, a baseball game is quite the departure - and can get pretty hot in all that armour! We love their dedication.
A local group known as Under the Stars came dressed as superheroes too, and the Mavericks sold out of the special edition #Dominicstrong hats (we bought 32 of them, after asking on our Facebook group if anybody wanted us to pick up a hat in their absence). Between those sales and the $100 in cash donations made to our table, we expect to have raised about $800 this year.
Huge thanks to everyone who helped. From the Mavericks and their staff (great job by P.A. announcer Guy with song selections and keeping the theme in mind all night), to our friends Bob and Krista manning our table, and all the friends we don't see often enough coming to watch the game and show support, it was a fantastic evening.
Only way it could've been better is if the home team won, but I was reminded that wins and losses are not the only metric of success.
Our daughter Samantha retrieved a foul ball during the game and it subsequently became her favourite thing in the entire world. She drew on it, named it ("Bally"), and was utterly thrilled to have two Mavericks players sign it. Full credit to the players, after a tough loss your mind isn't usually on serving the fans. But these guys didn't even pause and made my girl's night.
The other great memory I'll take is a 12-year-old who, upon hearing my usual spiel about what Extra Life is, was completely gung-ho about signing up and participating! We had a fantastic conversation and I really hope to see her and her friends involved sometime down the line. If she sees this, www.extra-life.org is the website and their Discord link is on the home page!
Next up for us? The online auction (dates TBA), then game day in November. As always you can make a donation and get a tax receipt by going to www.extra-life.org/team/dominicstrong.
Thanks, everyone, for the continued support.