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SOO-Brantford Athletes Honoured at Brantford Red Sox Game

posted Jul 30, 2013, 12:27 PM by Jarrod Copland

Taken from the Brantford Expositor online site. 

Sox honour fundraiser 6

Expositor Staff

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:52:30 EDT PM

Don't worry if you were at the Metro on St. Paul Avenue at about 8 p.m. Wednesday and didn't see John Procee.

He had to leave his usual spot by the grocery store exit where he collects money for Special Olympics to handle another duty.

Procee, who has collected thousands of dollars over the years by selling birdhouses, was at the Brantford Red Sox game where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

A former client of Community Living Brant, Procee has been collecting money through the sale of birdhouses for more than 15 years now and in that time has raised more than $150,000 for Special Olympics.

The birdhouses are made by Jim Wilson, a retired Brantford firefighter and former neighbour, who befriended Procee as a child.

Procee was chosen to throw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game on a night that celebrates the community's Special Olympians. Special Olympic athletes from a range of sports were on the field prior to the game to be recognized by the Red Sox fans and players.

"John was an excellent choice to throw out the first pitch," John Bradford, a director with the Brant chapter of Ontario Special Olympics, said prior to the game. "He has done so much for this community and so much for Special Olympics.

"The Special Olympic athletes in our community get support from Special Olympics Ontario but as good as that is, it only goes so far. The support these athletes get from John's efforts help cover the costs of uniforms and transportation."

He noted that a lot of Special Olympic athletes recently returned from a major competition and brought 27 medals home with them.