The 13th annual Greater Vernon Open charity bocce tournament on Saturday was a huge success.
The GVO is Western Canada’s largest single-day bocce tournament while raising thousands for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ride Don’t Hide campaign.
The tournament organizers, Ed Schratter and Bill Trickey, were pleased with the turnout, as teams from all over B.C., Alberta and competitors from as far away as Scotland and Austria battled it out on the grass.
“Every year, more and more people are booking their holidays to the Okanagan around the GVO,” said Schratter. “Like many families, we’ve struggled with the impact that mental illness can have, not only on the person suffering but on family members as well. We know that the first way to help is to acknowledge the illness, to address it without shame or guilt so that it can be dealt with in the open like any other illness.”
The tournament took place at Coldstream Park near Vernon.
Since 2010 Okanagan Spring Brewery has partnered to help make the charity event such a big success.
“We cannot express enough how grateful we are to our hometown brewery, Okanagan Spring,” said Trickey. “The support that we receive from Okanagan Spring allows us the opportunity to divert funds to Ride Don’t Hide. It is great when local businesses team up with local charity events like the GVO and the combination of beer and bocce is hard to beat.”
Local boys Dave Hentschel and Ryan Best went up against two brothers from Surrey, and the Vernon duo ended up securing the win.
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