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Alumni Serve It Up

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

by Rebecca Virgin

-- There was a waiting list of Leafs alumni wanting to wait tables at the 3rd annual Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni Dinner at Alice Fazooli's Italian Grill.

The annual dinner in support of the Leafs Fund has become so popular for both the guests and alumni that not all who offered to participate were able to. Mike Pelyk, president of the Leafs Alumni association is proud of the over flowing support from the alumni.

Darryl delivers dinner.
(Rebecca Virgin)

"It points out just how important the Leafs are to the fabric of Toronto, Ontario, and Canada," said Pelyk.  "People come here and they know it's for a good cause."

The cause was clear right from the beginning when the guests were introduced to Andrew Lachapelle, a beneficiary of the Leafs Fund.  Andrew was sponsored to attend Leafs Hockey School last summer along with others from his league - a league that provides free hockey for youth in the downtown core.

"It's amazing that they're able to do something like that for kids that are so deserving," said Jim Telfer, from the Gord Summers Memorial Hockey League.  "Hockey and all sport is so expensive."

The dinner event includes a silent auction, poker tournament, mystery bags and service from many Leafs alumni such as Ron Ellis, Stew Gavin, Gary Leeman and Darryl Sittler.

"We have a bursary to help kids fulfill a dream and play hockey at a hockey school or camp and Andrew was chosen to do that," said Sittler who presented Andrew with a signed jersey from his favourite player, Mats Sundin.  "Andrew was here to say hello to everyone and thank people for supporting the Leafs Fund."

The restaurant was filled to the brim and the atmosphere was fun and relaxed.  The alumni milled throughout the different tables posing for photographs, signing items and just chatting.  The event creates an atmosphere that keeps people coming back for more.

"I think it's the intimacy of the event that people really like," said Jennifer Millard, manger of the Leafs Fund.  "It's a chance to not only meet your favourite players but really get a chance to sit down with them and talk to them outside of a hockey arena.  It has a nice feel to it."

A meal that provides great food, entertainment and stories for the water cooler are all part of what keeps the dinner going year after year.

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