(Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, B.C.) - It took a few extra days to finally receive a tally of all donations and commitments to the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation but the numbers are in and a new standard for generosity was set at the 8th Annual Scotiabank Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation Hot Stove Luncheon featuring the Toronto Blue Jays.
Before the event even started fans were welcomed to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver by a Dixieland Band, Halford & Brough of TSN1040 Sports Radio and mascot of the Vancouver Canadians Bob Brown Bear. Sold out for it's eighth straight year, the Scotiabank Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation Hot Stove Luncheon is the cornerstone fundraising event of the calendar year and helps upward of 300 local children participate in amateur baseball, continue their education and develop into bright young stars of tomorrow.
With the luncheon set to go Canadians President Andy Dunn delivered a captivating welcome that acknowledged the likes of Minor League Baseball President Pat O' Connor and Pat Brunswick, Vice President, Baseball Operations, MiLB as well as Toronto Blue Jays President Emeritus Paul Beeston, Vice President Baseball Operations & General Manager Ross Atkins, former Major League star Lloyd Moseby and Director, Minor League Operations Charlie Wilson among others.
Scotiabank, Senior Vice President for the Yukon & BC Regions Lesly Tayles was also warm in her welcome to everyone in attendance as she looked out at a sold out room of more than 550 guests. Scotiabank has been the title sponsor of this event since its inception back in 2011.
After a hearty lunch, Vancouver Canadians broadcaster Rob Fai brought C's owner Jake Kerr onto the stage for his annual State-of-the-Franchise talk that concluded with his announcement of a new four-year extension the to club's current Player Development Contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. That means the Blue Jays will continue to trust the Canadians with its top prospects through at least the 2022 season, which is great news considering the C's have won more Northwest League Championships (4) than any other NWL franchise dating back to 2011 when Vancouver and Toronto first paired up.
To see our Photo Gallery from this year's event, click HERE.
Co-Owner Jeff Mooney then came to the stage as Chairman of the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation and told the heartfely stories of the many children whom our efforts reach out toward. In a continued move of extreme generosity, Mooney along with his wife Suzanne donated $100,000 toward a scholarship program that they introduced last year that directly helped more than a dozen children receive full scholarships to continue their educations beyond high-school.
A long ovation was followed by Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC Executive Director Carolyn Tuckwell coming on-stage to share her thoughts on the relationship between the C's and her 11 Lower Mainland Clubs calling it "a relationship of trust and love."
The Canadians continued to reach out shortly after Carolyn's speech as Andy Dunn returned to the stage along with General Manager JC Fraser and Assistant General Manager Allan Bailey as they presented a pair of cheques in the amount of $10,000 each to both Challenger Baseball and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Baseball program. The C's have now donated more than $100,000 to each of these fine local programs that work to better our community.
Then it was time for the Toronto Blue Jays to take center stage as former outfielder Lloyd Moseby charmed fans with a one-on-one fireside chat alongside Rob Fai who got plenty out of 'Shaker' including what Moseby signed for coming out of school which became a recurring joke throughout the interview. After Moseby, Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins followed up with a more business-like conversation surrounding the current state of Toronto's team including Josh Donaldson, former Canadians stars Nate Pearson and Logan Warmoth as well as the Jays connection with Vancouver.
Once fans showed their appreciation for Atkins and the rest of the Toronto Blue Jays in attendance, Fai wrapped up the afternoon thanking guests for taking the time to attend and offering up the chance to learn more right here at www.canadiansbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.