While many recovered from turkey dinners, an army of hockey teams laced up the skates for a good cause.
Taking place in four towns (LaSalle, Tecumseh, Amherstburg and Kingsville,) the 15th annual Hockey For Hospice tournament was a big success. The round robin tourney, from December 27-29, included 73 teams : Boys and girls from ages six to 14 competed with extra points awarded for pledges.
“Points are awarded for pledges – ½ point for every $250 in team pledges to a maximum of five points,” said event organizer, Molly Demelo. “These pledge points have an impact on how the teams finish in the round robin: If a team raises $2,500 in pledges this equates to the max of five points going in to the tournament.”
According to its website, Hockey For Hospice drummed up $141,500 for the organization. Amherstburg’s novice travel team received the most pledges with close to $5,800: They also had the overall top pledge collector, Braydon Romualdi, and clinched the championship in their division.
Freedom 55 was the event’s main sponsor and approximately 35 community partners (10 of them new) contributed: 75 volunteers kept things running smoothly and all funds go to the Hospice Of Windsor & Essex County.
“These funds are used to help patients and their families that are suffering with a life-threatening illness,” said Demelo. “Hospice provides programs and services at the Hospice Village as well as in the community at palliative care facilities, hospitals and patients’ homes.”
Nurses, social workers and doctors working for the hospice also provide pain and symptom management assistance and education. Their residential home at Hospice Village provides 24-hour care: Patients and care givers are given free counseling, therapeutic touch, tai chi, art therapy sessions and transportation for medical appointments.
Plans are underway for the 2011 event and while increasing their pledges is a priority, organizers say the main goal is to continue having fun.