Kelowna Falcons

Simply The Best

There are couples in Kelowna and throughout the Okanagan that love giving back to the community they live in and being involved in local sports helping amateur athletes. And then there is Polly and Don Drummond.

Since 2003 the Drummonds have been opening their home in West Kelowna to Falcons ball players as a billet family. It’s often that these student athletes are away from their own homes and parents for the very first time. The Drummonds take these players in and give them a loving home making the transition not such a scary ordeal for a young man.

Over their 17 years of billeting Falcons players the Drummonds quickly became the most sought after billet family and word spread throughout the West. Players would return home to California, Oregon, Washington, Texas or wherever after the summer and tell their teammates, “If you play for the Falcons, do everything you can to stay with Polly and Don.”

The Drummonds kept a book of players that have stayed with them. Some have comeback for multiple seasons with the Falcons and some just for one year. Regardless of their length of stay, they either write or sign in the Drummonds billet book. Over 70 players have come through their home since 2003 from across BC and 16 US states. They’ve even had a player or two from Puerto Rico.

Along with the student athletes, the parents of these players often come to Kelowna to visit their son and watch them play for the Falcons. Before taking in a game at Elks Stadium however, their first stop is to Polly and Don to thank them for taking care of their son and giving them a loving home over the summer.

On Thursday Polly posted a heartfelt message on Facebook announcing she and Don would be stepping away from billeting after 17 years of Falcons players, but 25 in all with their continuous commitment to the Kelowna Rockets players.

Time to say Goodbye to Billeting.

We have thought long and hard over this but have decided to retire from Billeting for Baseball and Hockey. We have had a wonderful 25 years doing this part time job that has brought us many, many memories and meeting and becoming fast friends with too many people to count.

We would like to thank the many Owners, Managers, Coaches, Billet Co-ordinators and especially the Players for this wonderful ride. Thank you also to the many Parents and families who also welcomed us with open arms. We consider all of you our extended family.

We also will continue to support these young men, going to games (when fans are allowed in the stands) and listening to all the away games. You guys have rocked our world in so many ways.

Good luck to everyone in your lives ongoing. We will certainly miss the many activities in our home.

Love to all of you.

Immediately following that post the comments from former Falcons players and their parents started to roll in, including:

You guys helped make special memories for lots of players and families!! We will always appreciate what you did for Matt when he played for the Falcons. That was a great summer for him and we loved visiting the beautiful area. Thanks so much!! Mary Burkhart Sokolowski

Our deepest gratitude for taking our boy in and treating him as your own. Great memories over the years. Not everyone can do what you and Don have done… takes big hearts and generous loving nature. So many benefited from that. Best wishes to your future. Kris Winkler

Thank you guys so much for all that you do. I had an amazing summer staying with you guys and I can say you truly are the best host parents around! Bowen Ogata

You guys were awesome! Matt Voelzke

You guys will forever be part of the Falcons family, and go down as some of the top billets/people that this team has ever had the pleasure to work with. General Manager Mark Nonis

Indeed Polly and Don have a lifetime of memories from opening their home. They even had the Texas state flag flown in their honour on July 23, 2011 on the state capital building after billeting pitcher Brandon Marris for two seasons. The state then sent the Drummonds the actual flag that was flown and a certificate signed by the Sergeant of Arms at the Texas House of Representatives.

From all of us at the Kelowna Falcons and the over 70 players you have billeted, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts. Players will no doubt miss staying with you, but we know we will still see you back at Elks Stadium in 2022!

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