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Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Banquet to once again feature star-studded line-up

Leafs legend Darryl Sittler, former Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons, and race car driver Amber Balcaen will star with Sportsnet Central anchor Jamie Campbell returning as emcee
With well over a million dollars raised through previous incarnations of the wildly popular event, Banquet chairman John Bye is hoping to see another successful evening with their slate of celebrity guests on Feb. 2 at the Heritage Inn.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs standout Darryl Sittler will be joined former Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons and race car driver Amber Balcaen as special guests, with Sportsnet Central anchor Jamie Campbell will return as the master of ceremonies for the fourth straight year.

“We're really happy with the line-up this year, we have a good mix of celebrities and we're expecting it'll be a really fun and entertaining evening,” said banquet chairman John Bye.

The event will follow much the same format it has the last couple of years – Sittler will act as the keynote speaker, with a pair of hot stove sessions giving patrons the chance to ask questions of the celebrities.

The format has proven popular in the past, with Bye expecting more of the same this time around.

“It seems to work out really well, you get a good mix of stories from everyone and there's always some good laughs out of it, too,” he said.

A Hockey Hall of Fame and Canadian Walk of Fame member, Sittler played in the NHL from 1970 to 1986, with the first 12 of those seasons as member of the Maple Leafs. The first Leaf to score 100 points in a single season, Sittler is most famous for the greatest single-game offensive output in NHL history – his six-goal, 10-point effort against the Boston Bruins on Feb. 7, 1976 continues to stand as an NHL record. Sittler was named to the Hall of Fame in 1989 and in 2017 was named one of the Top 100 Greatest NHL Players.

Gibbons was the head coach of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2004 to 2009 and again from 2012 to 2018, reaching the American League Championship Series in 2015 and 2016. He retired at the end of the 2018 season and was celebrated with John Gibbons Day in Toronto on Sept. 26.

Balcaen is a third-generation driver from Winnipeg and is the first Canadian female to win a NASCAR sanctioned race in the U.S. The rookie of the year on the 2014 Sprint Car circuit,  Balcaen is now preseident of her namesake racing company and will compete on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2019.

The banquet will also feature the live and silent auctions, with a wide variety of items up bidding including a signed Sidney Crosby jersey, a signed Gibbons ALCS Blue Jays jersey, a signed print of the Toronto Maple Leafs captains, a signed Connor McDavid and Mario Lemieux jerseys and a guitar signed by the bands who played the One Horse Town concert. All proceeds from that auction item will go to the Special Olympics.

The banquet's annual awards will also be presented, including the CHAB Sports Team of the Year, Moose Jaw Express Sports Builder Award and the Kinsmen Sports Achievement Award.

Tickets are currently available for the banquet at $150 each or a corporate table of eight for $1,200. For more information or reservations contact Cory at 631-8893 or John at 690-4555.

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