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BLOG: Weekend tournament raises over $100,000

by staff / Edmonton Oilers

The second annual Dirty Birds Charity Hockey Tournament raised a total of $100,212.12 in support of the Neurosurgery Kids Fund this weekend.

“Once again the dirty birds came through in a big way,” Oilers TV Host Tom Gazzola said. “It’s unbelievable to see the group managed to raise over $100,000. And to be a part of something special like this that benefits children being treated at the Stollery is an honour.”

Gazzola and’s head writer Chris Wescott participated in the tournament on Saturday along with local media personalities Dustin Nielson (TSN1260), Ryan Jespersen (Breakfast TV) and Min Dhariwal (CBC). The purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness for the Neurosurgery Kids Fund at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

“The Dirty Birds put together a first-class event and it shows with just how much money they were able to raise,” Wescott said. “It was an amazing weekend to come together with a group of great people in support of a worthy cause and to meet some of those kids was very special.”

Chris Branco, a member of the Dirty Birds men’s league team and a lead organizer of the tournament was filled with emotions following the event.

“To go from a goal of $15,000 in our first year and raising $68,000, to breaking $100,000 in our second year is truly a dream come true,” Branco said. “It is a small four-team tournament with many big hearts. This moment makes it worth the battle of three games in four hours and four games in a day. These kids battle their entire life and if you asked me to do it all over again I would say, “When is puck drop?”

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