It was all smiles at the Jays Care Curve Ball Gala on May 19th when Gloria Patrick, manager of Ehrlo Sport Venture (ESV), and Phyllis Littletent, volunteer coach and parent, travelled to Toronto for the Jays Care Curve Ball Gala at Rogers Centre.
Jays Care is the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club. They fund programs across Canada in marginalized communities that level the playing field for all children and youth across Canada. The gala attracted supporters and donors primarily from the Toronto area and showcased the foundation's funded partners and the impacts of their efforts.
Since 2018, Jays Care has sponsored the Ehrlo Baseball Rookie League (EBRL) and this year also funded a Family Night at Home program in Regina for 25 families.
Phyllis was a speaker at the event of 1,200 people, including the Blue Jays baseball team and staff. Her speech was about healing, reconciliation, families coming together, mentorship, and hopefulness for the future.
“Phyllis spoke about her family history and the impacts of residential school. She explained how her family has found healing through their participation with the EBRL. Phyllis has stepped up to lead – not only for her family but for all of our players,” explained Gloria.
Phyllis wore a royal blue ribbon skirt featuring a Jays’ logo. She also placed two sets of handprints on the skirt - one set of orange hands to symbolize the Indigenous children who attended residential schools and another set of white ones to represent the Indigenous children who are still here today. Phyllis and her daughter made the skirt.
“Phyllis’s perspective and voice were appreciated and valued at the gala,” Gloria added. Her presence and message shone light on some of the challenges and successes facing Indigenous youth and families.
At the gala, Gloria had the opportunity to speak with Shelley Watt Proulx, the Jays Care senior manager of community programs and outreach. They affirmed the shared values both organizations have – from inclusion and creating safe spaces for play, to intergenerational involvement which has increased familial bonds.
“It’s important for us at ESV to acknowledge the significant partnership with the Jays Care Foundation and what they contribute for Sport Venture. Through this consistent relationship, we’ve been able to grow our EBRL and see our players thrive. Our athletes not only increase their skills on their field but have developed their life and social skills, built their self-confidence and have made meaningful relationships.” Gloria said.
Gala raised $1.4 million just that night.
Registration for the 2022 Ehrlo Rookie Baseball league is currently open.