WILLIAMSTOWN, Ontario – Participants of the third annual Hockey with Heart fundraiser are set to lace up their skates on Friday, Feb. 15 and Saturday, Feb. 16 this year.
For the first time since its inception, the tournament in support of local families and the Canadian Cancer Society will span two days.
“We’re hoping two days will entice more attendees,” explained Colton Gallant, event organizer. The fundraiser falls on Family Day weekend this year.
Gallant said each hockey team is required to pay $250 and have approximately 10 players. Donations will also be accepted from non-players. A schedule will be devised for teams with games beginning Friday evening after an opening ceremony playing into Saturday afternoon.
This year, Gallant is hoping to see upwards of 200 attendees, as well as good weather.
“We’re going to have live music,” said Gallant, who is hoping to have local artists showcase their talents again this year. “We’re going to have a cash bar. Jack’s Pub helps us out. They actually move the bar into the little cabin (at the park). They get us a liquor license and everything. We (also) have a lot of people donating different items for an auction.”
Gallant is currently working with the Canadian Cancer Society in effort of incorporating options for younger attendees to make the event age inclusive. He explained that although the Canadian Cancer Society receives the largest portion of the donation, event organizers annually set aside approximately $1,000 to distribute to local families in need.
“Last year we had $1,000 and we split it up to two families that were experiencing tough times,” said Gallant. “There have already been a couple of families brought to his attention this year…it’s nice to keep the money local. That’s the reason we do this whole tournament.”
Gallant is no stranger to local philanthropy, hosting the soccer tournament fundraiser Kicks For a Cause and volleyball tournament fundraiser Serving Kindness during the summer months. He is very grateful for Allister MacDonell and all of his support with Hockey with Heart and is excited to have Jean Levac honour the event again through the celebratory puck drop.
Gallant is always looking for more volunteers to help with the event. To find out more, register or volunteers, visit Third Annual: Hockey with Heart Fundraiser Tournament on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.