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Written By BRIAN LOCKHART
The Jennifer Widbur Memorial Hockey Tournament hit an all time high in their fundraising efforts this year raising $65,000 in support of the Headwaters Health Care Centre.
The Honeywood Hockey Moms, the local group that organizes and runs the tournament presented a cheque to the Headwaters Health Care Foundation on Thursday, May 3.
That brings the group's total to $510,000 that has been raised and donated to the Foundation for cancer care at the hospital over the past 11 years. The annual tournament takes place at Honeywood arena and is hosted by the Honeywood Hockey Moms – a dedicated group of local women who play hockey and organize the annual event.
This year the group also made a $2000 donation to Honeywood Minor Hockey as well as a $1500 contribution to the fund in support of the Huboldt Broncos – the hockey team involved in the tragic accident in Saskatchewan in April.
Teams from around the region take part with some of the teams travelling from outside of the area to play a few games of hockey and socialize for the weekend.
“This year we had 14 teams – that's up from 11 teams last year,” said chairperson Mike DeLaat. “There's seven women and me. We're the organizing committee for the tournament. We've raised $510,000 for the hospital, over $30,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, $25,000 for Honeywood Minor hockey, and donated to various other charities.”
That's almost $600,000 the tournament has raised over all in those 11 years.
The funds are donated to the Headwaters Healthcare Foundation and are “directed to cancer care - what ever their greatest need is in cancer care,” DeLaat explained. “Now that they've got the new wing built, if they need supplies, furniture – it's for those things that the ministry doesn't supply but are supplied by the Foundation. It's for the care of the patients here. That's what we're about – to make it better for our local hospital.”
The Healthcare Foundation was pleasantly shocked to see how much this year's donation amounted to.
“We knew they were about $55,000 away from the five-hundred thousand mark. This is the highest amount they've ever donated.
For us, this put them over half-a-million dollars giving specifically to the oncology department here.” said Nicole Hand, manager of annual giving at the Foundation. “It's amazing the way the community comes together. We try to figure out what we can do to create interest in the hospital – it happens organically. This group of women are from the area. It all goes to our oncology department. The oncology department provides a number of things – there's diagnosis, there's treatment, there's surgical. Every step of the way were people with cancer need to be cared for – that's the oncology department.”
Around 220 women took part in this year's on-ice tournament with more taking other non playing roles in the event.
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