Those that had the opportunity to meet Larry Orr will probably never see a piece of pink Double Bubble gum and not think of him.
If you grew up on the Peninsula your path was likely to cross with Larry’s as he operated a skate sharpening business out of his home in North Saanich near the Panorama Recreation Centre. But he was so much more than the man that sharpened everyone’s skates, he was whatever you needed him to be – and the piece of gum he’d leave in those skates as a pick-me-up was proof of that.
“When Dad was around doing his skate sharpening business, he had an equipment exchange program,” said son Derek Orr. Community members could borrow what they needed or drop off what they didn’t to help families overcome some of the financial barriers that can prevent children from playing organized sports.
“It really captured the culture of what the Peninsula is about,” Derek added.
But it didn’t stop there, Larry would often barter, trade or simply donate his services to those that needed them. “There was always something going on at the house,” Derek said with a laugh, whether it was someone mowing the lawn or stacking wood. But even if they didn’t have something to trade, Derek noted that didn’t stop Larry from doing everything he could to help. “If he had the means to make it happen he would.”
He was Mr. Hockey and he even dropped the puck at the Kraft Hockeyville game that was held at The Q Centre in Colwood in 2015. Sadly, he passed away a short time later.
Back on the West Shore, Derek is hosting the second annual Larry Orr Charity Golf Invitational at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa in Langford this weekend. With only a handful of spaces left in Saturday’s event, he noted it’s looking to be a great day.
“It’s shaping up, there’s no minute like that last minute,” Derek said, adding he is still accepting golfers, silent auction items or hole sponsorships.
“It’s not a tournament in the sense of keeping score … It’s a chance for people to go out and play in a very comfortable setting with the idea of enjoying and reconnecting on a personal level,” Derek said. “I want this round of golf to feel like a family reunion … It’s just a feel good day.”
The idea came to him not as a fundraiser but as “a chance for people to get together and remember what Dad was about – working hard behind the scenes.”
Proceeds from the event go to KidSport Greater Victoria, a local not-for-profit that provides financial assistance for kids to help remove barriers preventing them from playing organized sports.
Last year’s event raised more than $13,000 for KidSport, but that isn’t the main focus of the event, just a happy byproduct, noted Derek.
Saturday’s event gets underway with a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $195 per person and includes a round of golf, power cart, hole-in-one prizes, tee gifts, draw prizes, silent auction, on course contests, dinner and much more. For more information go to picatic.com/larryorrinvitaional2017.