“Friends, families and neighbors have all come together to do good. This is what we need the most right now in our country,” says the organizer of the event which raised $70,000
The inaugural Braestone Winter Classic Charity Pond Hockey Tournament, benefiting the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Center (SRMC), is on course to far exceed its fundraising goal of $40,000, or $30,000. $.
On a blustery Saturday that characterized winter in Canada, participants from 16 teams skated through constant blowing snow and temperatures that looked colder than minus 20.
For Paul Cioci, who played alongside his two sons, the event is above all family.
“I have some buddies who came from Toronto for this event, and my youngest boy, who lives in Vancouver, came here today,” he said. “For us, it’s a special moment.”
Cioci is part of the organizing committee for the Braestone Winter Classic and is one of the main fundraisers.
“I think the SMRCC is a great cause,” he said. “It’s been a big buzz for the community, and everyone has been so supportive.”
Event organizer Ted Markle says the event has been “glorious” so far.
“After two years of what we’ve all been through, people are so happy to come together as a community to have fun and do it all for a good cause,” he said. “The energy has been very positive, it’s just great.”
Earlier in the week, Markle feared the event might happen due to mild weather and rain.
“I felt anxious like I hadn’t felt in years,” he laughed. “Our ice team worked day and night to clear the water and we were able to play all of our games yesterday. The ice was in great shape today too.
While battling overwhelming emotions of joy, Markle thanked the community for their support.
“Friends, families and neighbors have all come together to do good,” he said. “That’s what we need the most right now in our country.”
Markle says he feels a lot of gratitude for the event’s volunteers, sponsors and attendees.
Ryan McLeod, assistant to fundraising events at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Center (RVH) Foundation, says the hospital foundation is grateful for the generosity of donors.
“We are always very grateful when organizers of community events choose to support RVH,” he said. “It is only through the support of our community that we are able to put the best tools in the best hands to support patient care at RVH. »
With fundraising for the event expected to top $70,000, McLeod says RVH is overwhelmed by the generous support from organizers and attendees.
“It’s amazing to see so many people coming together to support patient care at RVH,” he said.
Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke was on hand to participate in and support the pond hockey tournament. Clarke praises Markle for giving back to RVH after receiving cancer treatment at CCRSM for the past four years.
“This is fantastic fundraising for RVH,” he said. “I know Ted Markle and his team have done a great job. It demonstrates a way for someone to give back for the care they have received.