Aldergrove mental health advocate Andy Bhatti (left) stands with Langley country singer Dallas Smith before the charity baseball game at Softball City on Saturday, July 25. (Andy Bhatti/Special to the Star)

Aldergrove mental health advocate Andy Bhatti (left) stands with Langley country singer Dallas Smith before the charity baseball game at Softball City on Saturday, July 25. (Andy Bhatti/Special to the Star)

Celebrities go to bat for charity led by Aldergrove childhood sexual abuse survivor

Andy Bhatti raises $4,390 for Sophie’s Place, a safe space in Surrey for sexually abused children

Vancouver Canucks alumni Chris Higgins, Jyrki Lumme, Dave Babych and Langley country artists Dallas Smith and Jo Jo Mason, played ball for charity on Saturday – spurred on by an Aldergrove mental health advocate wanting to break the stigma and raise awareness about childhood trauma.

Andy Bhatti has come a long way from living on the streets of Aldergrove and the Downtown Eastside as a teenager, thieving, dealing, and running from police to feed his $1,200-a-day heroin addiction.

On Saturday, the sober advocate played with some big names at Surrey’s Softball City for an event he organized in conjunction with other addiction interventionists from Langley.

By the end of all seven innings, $4,390 was raised from auctioned off sports items – such as signed helmets and jerseys from athletes including Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Maple Leafs’ Darryl Sittler, and NFL’er Jerry Rice.

To bid on any of the items , please go to the pictures on the original bid per item down the page. Not on this post and…

Posted by Andy Bhatti Interventions & Addiction Services on Friday, July 24, 2020

All proceeds from the silent auction went towards Sophie’s Place Child Advocacy – a Surrey non-profit that helped Bhatti turn his own life around and become the sober survivor he is today.

Saturday’s event was organized to help people, like Bhatti, who have struggled with addiction, trauma, and sexual abuse.

“Treatment for the addict or trauma survivor is typically where the work begins and ends, failing to acknowledge the feelings and pain of those around them such as family and friends,” Bhatti said.

Since going public about being sexually abused from ages nine to 13, the advocate has had dozens upon dozens of emails from other survivors sharing their stories, he admitted.

RELATED: Canuck alumni Chris Higgins and Dave Babych, country artist Dallas Smith to play in charity softball game

But many men aren’t ready to openly acknowledge what happened to them. 

“We have to break the silence of sexual abuse,” Bhatti said.

One in three children and one in five boys are abused, he pointed out.

A full-blown heroin addict by the age of 14, Bhatti was self medicating his pain after being sexually abused by his Big Brother.

His abuser, who volunteered as a Big Brother through Langley Big Brothers and Big Sisters at the time, was later convicted of sexually abusing two boys in Kamloops – while Bhatti was attending high school in Aldergrove.

It was only after a police officer came to him asking if he had been abused by that same man that he broke his silence.

READ MORE: Celebrity Christmas Toy and Food Drive held for hope and recovery

Now, Bhatti, the 2015 Courage to Come Back Award winner, is carrying on with his life’s work of helping sexual abuse survivors and their families.

The July 25 charity baseball event was streamed live on Facebook and Instagram.

Players stayed a safe distance from one another, keeping the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in mind. The few friends that watched the game from the sidelines wore face masks.

Those who tuned in virtually to the event got a free country music performance following the game.

Bhatti, who still lives in Langley, created his own non-profit group in 2014 for victims of childhood sexual abuse – called Survivors Supporting Survivors.

It connects people with addiction counselling and supportive services.

Those in need of immediate assistance can visit to andybhatti.com.

Posted by Andy Bhatti Interventions & Addiction Services on Saturday, July 25, 2020

Addictions treatmentAldergrovemental healthSurrey

Just Posted

One of the tiny western toads during the 2019 migration. (Langley Advance Times files)
Environmentalists prep for annual Langley toad migration

South Langley will soon have tens of thousands of toads on the move

Blading for bees, led by Aldergrove resident Zach Choboter, headed through B.C. (Special to The Star)
Aldergrove’s bee blader crosses the prairies

Zach Choboter has rollerbladed from Whistler to Alberta in two weeks

Tourism Langley has put together Father’s Day gift boxes that support local businesses and aid the Langley Food Bank. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
This Father’s Day, you can support Langley businesses and aid the Food Bank

Tourism Langley brings back their popular gift boxes

Marsha Miller walked through the Derek Doubleday Arboretum Friday afternoon, reading the info stations about residential schools and their impact on Indigenous Canadians. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Langley vigil for residential school victims brings forth powerful emotions

Tears from visitors even before evening event, organizer said

Trinity Western University held a vigil Tuesday as well as having two more on Thursday, June 10 to honour the 215 children whose remains were buried at a residential school in Kamloops. Their remains were found with ground-penetrating radar. (TWU/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley university vigils honour the 215 children buried at Kamloops residential school

Indigenous leader offers suggestions on how to process the devastating information and on healing

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read