For the seventh year, The CAVE (Comox Avenue Fitness) is teaming up with a professional athlete to help Comox Valley residents in need over the holiday season.
CAVE owner Marc St. Jules has had Calvin McCarty of the CFL Edmonton Eskimos and Kyle Lotzkar of the MLB Texas Rangers in town in previous years, and this year Lotzkar is helping the fundraising effort for the Comox Valley Food Bank and homeless shelter.
While he hails from Tsawwassen, Lotzkar has trained with St. Jules for several years and feels right at home on Vancouver Island. He is training at The Cave (278 Anderton Rd. in Comox) now and will be there this Saturday to pose for photos, sign autographs and display the gold medal he won playing for Canada.
There will be a foosball tournament at the gym starting at 3 p.m. (spectators are welcome to start dropping by at 2:30 p.m.) with half the proceeds going to the winner and half to the food bank and homeless shelter.
Those attending are asked to bring non-perishable food items and/or clothing. St. Jules notes that the local homeless shelter has had to turn people away already this year, and with the weather getting colder the need is great – both for blankets, sleeping bags and tents as well as food – right now to help the less fortunate.
“It’s all about giving back to the community,” St. Jules said.
The 24-year-old Lotzkar played youth baseball for the Langley Blaze of the BC Premier Baseball League. The right-handed pitcher was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the supplemental first round (53rd overall) of the 2007 MLB Draft. He made his pro debut with the Gulf Coast League Reds of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2007.
In 2008 he pitched for the Dayton Dragons of the Class-A Midwest League and fractured his elbow. He had Tommy John surgery and missed the 2009 season, then appeared in only 12 games in 2010 for Cincinnati’s Rookie-level affiliates.
He pitched for Dayton in 2011 and was rated as the 10th best prospect in the Reds’ organization by Baseball America. Lotzkar was added to the Reds’ 40-man roster after the 2011 season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
Prior to the 2012 season, Baseball America rated Lotzkar the 30th best prospect in the Reds’ organization. He was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.
Lotzkar was designated for assignment by the Reds on Sept. 16, 2013 and was released on Sept. 24. On Oct. 23, he signed with the Texas Rangers.
Lotzkar has played for the Canadian national team. In 2011, he won the bronze medal at the Baseball World Cup and the gold medal at the Pan American Games. He also competed for the Canadian Junior National Team in 2007 and was on Canada’s provisional roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not make the final roster.
For more information, click on www.cavefitness.ca.