Algonquin College to host charity wheelchair basketball game to benefit MRI campaign Feb. 7
STEPHEN UHLER / DAILY OBSERVER On Feb. 7, 2014, a fundraising wheelchair basketball game will be held at Algonquin College in the Ottawa valley, raising money for the Pembroke Regional Hospital's MRI Fund. In the photo are representatives of those organizations taking part. Staring from left are Jamie Bramburger, Algonquin College's manager of student and community affairs, Deputy Mayor Ron Gervais, representing Pembroke city council, Pierre Noel, PRH president, player Sam Graham, who represents his team the Ottawa Jazz, Sam Gleason of the Pembroke Lumber Kings, Garland Wong, PRH employee and one of the event organizers, Jeff Iles, counsellor with the Centre for Student Disabilities with Algonquin College, and Greg Junop, representing the PRH Foundation.
Wheelchair basketball is returning to Pembroke!
On the evening of Friday, Feb. 7, Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley is hosting the match up between the Ottawa-Carleton Wheelchair Sports Association's Ottawa Jazz and four separate local celebrity teams, which will each have a 15-minute quarter to show what they can do on the court.
Squads representing the Pembroke Lumber Kings, Pembroke city council, Algonquin College and the Pembroke Regional Hospital (PRH) will compete against the Jazz, in a game which both raises awareness of the sport of wheelchair basketball and funds for the MRI Image Matters campaign.
The event is the brainchild of Beachburg native and Algonquin College student Sam Graham, a wheelchair athlete who plays for the Jazz; his dad and PRH employee Kemmel Graham; Nancy Warren, executive director of the Pembroke Regional Hospital Foundation, and Garland Wong, another PRH employee.
Sam Graham helped bring the Jazz to the college in 2013 for a demonstration game, which helped to raise more than $1,000 for the team. Since then, he has been eager for a repeat performance.
"I want to fill the stands again," he said, noting this will be really good exposure for the sport.
Hitting the Algonquin College Student Association gym as members of the Jazz will be a number of former national team players, and others who have played at the provincial level.
Wong said planning for this event began in December, and it was decided to make it a fundraiser for the MRI, just to change things up.
He said once the word got out, the idea snowballed, with people enthusiastic about the event.
"I spoke to Corey Smith and Martin Corriveau of the Ottawa Jazz to make arrangements," and they were also excited about returning to the college for another match. Wong said the team will also be bringing extra wheelchairs to lend to those who will play.
The evening, described by Wong as a night of fun and surprises, will be held Friday, Feb. 7. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the game gets underway at 7 p.m. Admission is a donation to the PRH Foundation's MRI fund.
For further information, contact Wong at 613-732-5798.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist