By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Pool sharks swarmed Rack-M-Up Billiards at a second annual charity tournament for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Billiards for Heart is one of many local fundraising events in support of Heart Month during February, the foundation’s yearly campaign to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke, and support life-saving research.
A total of 32 players hailing from as far as Akwesasne, Valleyfield, Brockville, and Lake Placid, took part in 59 matches in a double elimination format.
Doug Disotell and Amanda Collins, owners of Rack-M-Up Billiards, donated the use of their pool tables for the two-day event. The cause was dear to both of them since their families have a history of heart disease.
“My mother survived a heart attack two years ago. The experience was a real awakening,” said Collins.
The event raised $1,000 for the Heart & Stroke Foundation office in Cornwall, which also services Stormont, Prescott-Russell, Dundas & Glengarry, and Akwesasne.
Lynne Groulx, program coordinator for Heart & Stroke, said the February blitz of fundraisers has, and continues to saves lives. She guaranteed every dollar donated stays local.
“We depend on all of these third-party events throughout February,” said Groulx.
Over a year ago, the Cornwall branch started a project that helped allocate over 50 Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to public places throughout Cornwall and area.
The project also funds the training and maintenance of the machines. This initiative has since saved three lives locally.
“This would’ve never happened without fundraising events like Billiards for Heart,” she said.
Jay Montgomery, the winner of the tournament, travelled from Waterloo just to participate. He enjoyed taking a shot for a good cause and some friendly competition at the 9-ball tournament - no pros or semi-pros were allowed.
“It was important to play because of the cause,” said Montgomery. “Heart disease is a concern for everybody.”
For a list of upcoming Heart Month events or to make an online donation, visit the Heart & Stroke website.