Lady Jays to aid in relief of Fort McMurray fires

TORONTO -- Prior to the Blue Jays' series finale on Sunday against the Dodgers, the Lady Jays, a group comprised of the players' wives and girlfriends, will be collecting monetary donations for the Canadian Red Cross to help those impacted by the fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The Lady Jays will be set up inside Gate 9A, near section 127 of the 100 level concourse. Fans can show their support with donations any time from 11 a.m. through the end of the third inning. All proceeds will be matched by the Canadian government.

"I think it's so important," said Kristin Smoak, wife of Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak. "We're here for six months of the year, so we adopt Canada as our home away from home. When things like this happen, we have to make sure we help out.

"We wanted to find out a way as quick as possible to help out the best way we know how."

Over the past five days, the fire has destroyed more than 1,600 homes and buildings, and forced 80,000 to evacuate the city. As of Saturday afternoon, over 32,000 households had registered with the Canadian Red Cross.

Actively engaged in charitable efforts within the community throughout the year, the Lady Jays spearheaded the event after hearing and seeing the news earlier in the week.

"For us to help out in this small way is the least we can do for Canada and Fort McMurray," said Amanda Pillar, wife of Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar. "Canada is our home too, and it feels really good to help out in any way we can."

The Lady Jays' efforts also comes a day after the Blue Jays announced the creation of a special auction of team memorabilia to aid in relief efforts of the events in Fort McMurray, including items such as a signed bat by Russell Martin, a game worn jersey from Jose Bautista and autographed items from members of the Blue Jays' 1992 and '93 World Series teams.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.