Originally when Luke Willson approached the Siddall family about holding a fundraising event to honour the memory of their son Kevin, they were hesitant.
“When they first contacted us in doing that, we weren’t really interested in doing a golf tournament or that type of thing,” explained Joe Siddall, whose son died of lymphoma in February at the age of 14. “Honestly, we just kind of wanted to move forward a little bit for now. It’s been such a long 9-10 months.”
After talking it over, they decided to give the idea the go-ahead.
“Luke just wanted to use his status in this community and the notoriety from what he’s accomplished to do some good things,” Siddall said of Willson, the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl-winning tight end from LaSalle. “We just agreed to tame it back from a big deal and make it a dinner.
“It’s hard to say no to people who want to do good things.”
With that, An Evening with Luke Willson and Friends was born. Slated for July 17 at Essex Golf and Country Club, along with Willson, among the area athletes expected to attend are NHLers Ryan Wilson (Colorado Avalanche), Zack Kassian (Vancouver Canucks) and Matt Martin (New York Islanders) and golfer Natalia Ghilzon.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $125 and are available from Stephanie Kentner at the Essex club at 519-734-101 or from Wilma Willson at 519-972-8861. An after party will also be held at Level 3 Vodka Emporium, 375 Ouellette Ave., starting at 10 p.m.
Tickets for that event are $20 and are available from Brooke Siddall (519-995-9244, firstname.lastname@example.org), Nick Corrado (519-564-9743, email@example.com) and Mike Chiandussi (519-564-9403, firstname.lastname@example.org).
All proceeds from both events will benefit Lymphoma Canada and specifically non-Hodgkins lymphoma research.
While they appreciate the attention and concern of the community, Joe Siddall admits it’s been hard on the family to continually be asked to revisit the loss of Kevin.
“It’s difficult,” said Siddall, the former major league catcher who works an analyst on Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts. “We’d really like to kind of continue to move on and be under the radar a little bit, because it’s been so much out there.
“It’s very hard to do that, especially in my role now.”
“There’s some times when you just kind of want to hide. You just want to be with family under our circumstances.”
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