Friday 5 July 2024

With great power... (Superhero Night No. 6, July 13)

How is it already July? How has it been seven years since the first Superhero Night with the Medicine Hat Mavericks baseball team? Life comes at you quick, but as Uncle Ben said, "With great power comes great responsibility." Now's time to sling some exciting news at you about Saturday, July 13!
At the first three Superhero Nights in 2017, 2018, and 2019, the players donned custom jerseys which were then sold off for charity. Coming into 2020, I had the idea of a Spiderman-themed design. Well, we all know what happened then: COVID. Once the team emerged again in 2022, they went with special socks. Last year it was hats. Our Dominicstrong network snapped them all up, helping us raise money for the Alberta Children's Hospital in the process.

Finally, we're doing those Spidey jerseys. And man do they look awesome! The game day sponsor is EBT Chartered Professional Accountants, who do a ton of charity work.

Like in past years, we'd really love if you could come to the game. It's a 7:05 p.m. start. But for out-of-towners, message Trish or I and we'd be happy to help you get your hands on one. Be warned, they're $100, and there won't be as many on the shelves as there were socks or hats!

The Mavs don't have to do this every year. There are so many wonderful causes to support in our community. But after Dominic threw out the first pitch in 2015, this one's become a bit of a tradition. Everyone — from the public address announcer mixing in superhero references and songs to the game day staff modifying between-innings contests to fit the theme — gets involved, and there's a different demographic in the crowd with more kids and adults dressed up. We are so thankful to have them suiting up again.

I'm expecting to see the 501st Legion (volunteers who cosplay as Star Wars characters) in attendance again, and of course we'll be there promoting Extra Life to anyone who'll listen.

One person I'm particularly looking forward to see is Mr. Keagan Hohn. Keagan first came to a Superhero Night when he was around seven years old, dressed up in Star Wars cosplay and involved in one of those mid-inning contests, except instead of a bat to hit a ball he used his light sabre! We knew the family because Keagan's been to the Alberta Children's Hospital since he was little.

Well, he's 14 now and still going to the hospital, though not for what he'd dealt with when he was younger. Now it's autoimmune encephalitis, which he describes as his immune system attacking his brain. The things he's gone through over the past two years is nothing short of terrifying, and the fact he's even able to get out to the game shows just what kind of superhero he is.

"He had influenza, his body went into hyperdrive," noted his mom of what happened in 2022.

Said Keagan: "It was a little bit frightening." Understatement!

When I asked him what makes the hospital special, he said "it's a place where kids can feel really comfortable, it's nice to have coloured walls (instead of boring white ones) and people who are there to help you."

Yes, Dominic is why we started doing this. But kids like Keagan are why we continue. They're all superheroes, and we feel a great responsibility to do right by them.

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