Baseball’s heavy hitter Jose Canseco is 52 and retired but he can still drive a ball out of the park.
He will prove it in Aldergrove on June 11 as part of the Straight Out Of Hastings team playing in the Aldergrove Days Softball Tournament at Parkside Elementary’s ball diamonds.
He’s one of the celebrities Andy Bhatti is bringing to the event, in a fund-raiser for the Survivors Supporting Survivors charity. The charity helps fund counselling for victims of childhood abuse, who may otherwise resort to opiate addictions to numb the pain.
Bhatti is a survivor and has been “clean” for ten years.
“On June 11 we are hosting a charity slo-pitch team to play in the Aldergrove Days Slo-Pitch tourney,” says Bhatti.
“The reason we are putting in this team called Straight Outta Hastings is to raise much needed awareness on opiate addiction and childhood sexual abuse.
“This tournament is really important to me. When I was a 7-10 year old kid, before I was sexually abused as a child, I used to live right across the street from this park. I use to go across the street and be the bat boy for lots of these teams. The teams would pay me $2-$4 a game. To me that was lots of money growing up.
“I used to run in the bushes and collect the balls that were hit in the bushes or out of field. The baseball league would pay me 25 cents for each ball I returned.
“Everybody knew me as the local bat and ball boy.
“Then when I was 11 years old my life turned upside down. Due to being abused, I failed Grade 5 at the school this event is being held at. Then I became a drug addict and a criminal.
“After spending 15 years in and out of jail and on heroin, I finally got clean.
“Now being almost 10 years clean and a drug and alcohol interventionist and advocate for victims of childhood sexual abuse. I believe doing this event in Aldergrove, my hometown, makes the most sense.
“I have had over 100 phone calls and around 200 emails from families looking for help for their loved ones. Either looking for private or free treatment options, drug and alcohol testing, or help for their family members who are also survivors of childhood sexual abuse like myself. This was just since my last event with Jose Canseco that we did in Abbotsford to raise awareness on the dangers of opiates.
“Also to raise awareness of how survivors of sexual abuse need proper therapy or their likes of getting clean aren’t good if they don’t deal with the post traumatic stress disorder of the abuse.
“I believe everybody deserves the right to therapy.”
The proceeds from this event will go to the charity, Survivors Supporting Survivors (www.supportingsurvivors.ca), and they will use this money to pay for therapy for survivors of sexual abuse that can’t afford treatment or are too scared to go to the police right away.
Jose Canseco will be doing a baseball hitting show at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 11 and then playing on the Straight Outta Hastings team at 12 noon.
Canseco will be signing autographs and posing for photos after the game for donations.
Canseco will also be doing a home run derby at 6:30 p.m. at the same place. Jose will compete against the top three best hitters out of the home run derby.
Seventy per cent of the Straight Outta Hastings team is made up of of people in recovery or from Hastings Street. For information on this event people can go to www.Andybhatti.com
This event is 100 per cent free to attend, although donations to the cause are most welcome.
Andy Bhatti will be raising awareness of childhood sexual abuse as well as fundraising for Survivors Supporting Survivors at the Aldergrove Days Softball Tournament on Saturday, June 11. -Kurt Langmann photo