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Fundraising hockey tournament tops its goal

[Hockey Helps The Homeless]
A total of 85 players on seven teams helped raise nearly $40,000 for charities, including the Kingston Youth Shelter and Hockey Helps the Homeless. (Supplied Photo)

There’s nothing better to brighten up the dead of winter than a good hockey tournament – except perhaps a hockey tournament that raises close to $40,000 for a good cause.

Queen’s University students held their second annual tournament in support of Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) on Friday, Feb. 6 with seven teams taking to the ice at the Invista Centre. The event topped its fundraising goal of $35,000, bringing in a final total of $39,600. Groups benefitting from the event are PROkids Kingston, HHTH, and local outreach partner the Kingston Youth Shelter.

Parker Hickey (Sc’16), who is co-chair along with Marcus Threndyle (Artsci’16), initially approached HHTH with the idea of creating the first tournament at a university. Once he got the go-ahead he reached out to Mr. Threndyle, who quickly got on board.

“We both thought it was an exciting and unique opportunity to support a cause we believe is important through a sport we both love,” says Mr. Hickey. “From there we set up a committee of Queen’s students. All of the members have been hard working and essential to the success of this event.”

After a successful inaugural event last year with six teams, the tournament expanded to seven teams with a total of 85 players lacing up their skates. Each player also commits to raising a minimum of $250.

While the competition on the ice can be intense, the focus of the event, which also saw the support of 20 volunteers, remains on helping the homeless.

There are plans to expand further.

“Going forward, we hope to continue to grow our tournament as an annual fundraiser for local homeless-focussed charities,” says Mr. Threndyle. “Next year we will try to court involvement from students at St. Lawrence College and Royal Military College and hopefully get a girl’s tournament going as well.”

The funds going to the local shelter will help launch a transitional housing program for at-risk youth, says Mr. Threndyle.

Organizers also expanded the community support this year with key sponsorships from Ambassador Hotels and StarTek, a fundraising partnership with the Kingston Frontenacs, and saw the ice fees waived by the City of Kingston thanks to a motion passed by city council.