With $2.3 million raised for personalized cancer medicine at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, the third installment of the Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer tournament became the world's largest hockey fundraiser. Staged on Sept. 28 at Ontario Place in Toronto, 1,313 participants making up 130 teams competed all day and night for a great cause.
The tournament also featured a number of familiar faces from the world of sports, with former NHL goaltender and Hockey Night in Canada commentator Glenn Healy overseeing the opening ceremonies. Legendary player Paul Henderson was scheduled to assist Healy, but was forced to cancel due to a health setback.
Other former players at the event included Darryl Sittler, Johnny Bower, Marcel Dionne, Gary Roberts, Tie Domi, Eddie Shack, Bryan Berard and Angela James. Olympic athletes Ross Rebagliati, David Pelletier and Brian Stemmle were also on hand, as was longtime Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Kelly Gruber.
In its three years in existence, this annual tournament has now raised $7 million for personalized cancer medicine at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, which is considered one of the top-five cancer research centers in the world. Special awards were handed out to the top contributors, including the ONroute Roadies, a team that combined to contribute nearly $90,000. A special celebrity game was staged after the awards were handed out.
In addition to a whole lot of road hockey, the event included food and beverages, live music and interactive games. It comes on the heels of another Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer tournament that was held in Vancouver on Sept. 14, with former NHL players Kirk McLean, Cliff Ronning and Garth Butcher attending. The fourth installment of the Toronto event is already scheduled for Sept. 27, 2014.
"It was a perfect day in every way," said Kevin Shea, director of public relations at Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. "The weather gods cooperated wonderfully. More than 1,300 participants enjoyed a great day of road hockey. We had 60 celebrities who added great excitement to the day but best of all, $2.3 million was raised for personalized cancer medicine at The Princess Margaret! Unbelievable!"