Gary Eve

Gary Eve

Firefighter’s ball tournament for Muscular Dystrophy rases over $34,000 despite the rain

Firefighters had fun playing in the ball tournament, but the real meaning for the event began with the auction.

Despite the rain and generally lousy weather, firefighters from Lake Cowichan, Mesachie Lake, Honeymoon Bay, Cowichan Bay, Langford, and Ladysmith, showed up for the 33rd annual fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy at the Mesachie Skydome from June 15 through 17.

The firefighters of course had fun playing in the ball tournament, but the real meaning for the event began with the auction on the Saturday afternoon.

Not only did the fire department members purchase and gather the items up for auction, they also set aside funds to bid on the items, and many items went for thousands of dollars. This year, the auction alone brought in approximately $34,600.

Dave Ferguson, a retired fire chief from Cowichan Bay, says that the fire departments from around the lake have been instrumental in sustaining this event over the years.

Adam Soyhe, son of Nick Soyhe a Mesachie Lake firefighter and one of the organizers of the event, was diagnosed with the disease at four years old. This year, he was happy to show off his new chair.

The chair is designed with many features that help make life a little easier, including lift and tilting capabilities.

Soyhe, who has had the chair for a little over two weeks now, says there are still a few custom adjustments that have to be made to the chair, but his old chair “was pretty basic compared to this.”

One of the adjustments required is the placement of a controller that will allow Soyhe to use his computer.

Soyhe was the DJ for the evening dance at the event for 15 years, and he says that this year it “feels a little strange” having retired from this duty due to increased muscle problems.

The Lake Cowichan Fire Department placed first in this year’s tournament, and the Duncan department placed second.

The most sportsman like team was Cowichan Bay.