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Prince George slo-pitch charity tournament hits close to home for organizer

Brad Orser lost a daughter to defected heart, wants others to persevere in tough times

Brad Orser has brought together 12 slo-pitch baseball teams for a cause he’s been working to put together for the last five years.

The Dirty Fingers’ Fall Shocker for Charity tournament takes place Sept. 13 to 15 and childrens' health will be on the minds of everyone involved on and off the Nechako Park Fields. 

As the tournament's charity organizer, Orser explains he has partnered with the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation in raising funds through the three-day event for the pediatrics ward at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. (UHNBC). 

The Prince George husband and father of three is relieved to finally see this event step up to the plate as the cause is near and dear to his family.

“We had a daughter five years ago born with a heart defect [...] she’s no longer with us,” said Orser to PrinceGeorgeMatters. “So we spent some time in the pediatrics ward at Children’s Hospital for her illness [...] We expected her to have a quick recovery from her open heart surgery, but it didn’t go well with a lot of complications and she didn’t even make it out of her surgery. We also had twins that were a month premature, so we spent more time there again.”

The toll of losing a child proved to be too much for Orser, who explains he descended into an ‘active addiction’ afterwards.

Now 22 months sober, Orser feels he needs to give something back to Prince George children and families going through the same struggles, hoping to exceed more than $5,000 from the tournament this weekend. 

“Even if you’ve haven’t had an experience in a pediatric ward, there’s a chance that somebody you know will or could have an experience there,” he said. “The money is staying local, going directly to UHNBC, and in talks with everybody in the community, this hits home for a lot of people. We would love to blow our goal out of the water.”

In addition to those participating in the actual baseball side of things, Orser encourages the public to watch the games, make an in-person donation to Spirit of the North, participate in the silent auction, and more importantly, support the cause.

There will also be a 50/50 draw and home run derby with proceeds from those contests going to help a family Orser met around the same time his daughter was in pediatric care.

“I have a personal connection with [Lindsay and Dan Kirkham],” he said. “This was right around the time I was at Children’s Hospital five years ago with my daughter and they’re down there now. Their son Calder has just had kidney surgery and they’re in for the long haul. I think its the least we can do given the main cause of this tournament.”

A dozen teams are participating in the Dirty Fingers’ Fall Shocker for Charity tournament, most of which are from the Prince George Nechako Mixed Slo-pitch League.

The final is set for Sunday (Sept. 15) at 3:30 p.m.

C.I.F Construction and White Spruce Enterprises are sponsoring the tournament.


Kyle  Balzer

About the Author: Kyle Balzer

Kyle Balzer graduated with distinction from BCIT's Broadcast & Online Journalism program in 2016. Since moving to Prince George, he has covered a variety of stories from education & Indigenous relations, to community interests & sports.
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