As The Breast Ride Ever skates forward, their latest fundraising partner is feeling sharper than ever.
Recently in town for a media event, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is excited for their two-day stand at Windsor Arena. On November 26 and 27, the Montreal Stars will take on the Toronto Furies with all proceeds benefitting co-founders Nikki and Anne Campeau’s fundraising goals.
CWHL commissioner Brenda Andress and Toronto Furies first-year goaltender Jamie Tessier were both in the city to talk about their league’s unique gameplay.
“Our players are our strength,” said Andress. “Many are Olympic and World Champions and all are very involved in their communities. Our game is based on speed, skill and finesse and is a family friendly environment where access to heroes is very possible.”
Created after the National Women’s Hockey League’s dissolution in May 2007, fundraising has always been a part of the CWHl. Wanting to give back to communities, the league has had outreach games in various locations since their inception. As of 2011, four to five of these games are played per season.
“Our league loves to be involved in outreach games to raise awareness of charitable organizations and also to support high level women’s hockey in their communities,” said Andress. “The value is tremendous as the CWHL brings their outstanding product to arenas that would otherwise not have an opportunity to see such high level games, often supporting youth hockey and local charities at the same time.”
As somewhat of an underdog organization itself, CWHL players tried forming the league after meetings in summer 2007. Without owners, staff or funds however, all were unsure of how to proceed. Eventually, former Brampton Thunder goaltender Mandy Cronin took part in a charity street hockey game – one that was the key to CWHL’s future.
Playing on a group from investment firm Birch Hill Equity Partners, she led them to victory in the tournament. While taking part, she explained the plight of female hockey players in North America and they decided to help. Financial backing and a sustainable business model were soon put into place by the firm’s Michael J. Salamon. A board of directors was eventually formed and, with assistance from the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, a constitution was drafted to legitimize the organization. Now, in addition to both teams coming to Windsor, there are the Boston Blades and those located in Brampton, Burlington and Alberta respectively.
Asking “who can say no to Anne and Nikki?” CWHL’s commissioner is thrilled to help raise money for cancer research. She isn’t the only one either, as the event’s long list of sponsors include Sponsors of Stick It To Cancer include The Windsor Star, BlackBurn Radio/The Rock, The Blind Dog, The Tecumseh Roadhouse, Walkermole, Hilton Windsor, Spin Media, Team My Mobile, Tunnel BBQ, Chanosos, University of Windsor Alumni, St. Clair College Alumni, UG, Biz X Magazine, In Play Magazine, Accurate Bookkeeping, Ryan Eyres, Peter Solly Sculptures/Macdonald’s Muffler, Phyllis Chant Photography, Joseph LemirePhotography, Freedom Event Production and Devonshire Mall.
Ticket information is available on The Breast Ride Ever’s website and for those unfamiliar with the CWHL, Andress has one final wish.
“[I hope people take away] the love of our game,” said Andress. “That if you believe, dreams can come true.”