Seven years ago, an enthusiastic young leader in the Brock Leaders Citizenship Society (BLCS) organized a ball hockey tournament in order to raise money for Alzheimer’s. Laura Broley, whose grandmother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, wanted to raise money and awareness for an illness that affects 15 per cent of Canadians 65 years old and older, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Through Broley’s and the BLCS’ efforts, the Flora Broley Play for Memories Ball Hockey Tournament came into being and is now an annual BLCS charity initiative. All the incoming first-years of the society are tasked with planning and organizing the tournament, which gives them the opportunity to gain experience leading an initiative as well as volunteer hours.
“As a first-year, organizing something this big means a lot to me,” said Shraddha Khirwadkar.
This year, the format of the tournament has changed slightly from previous years. Instead of a five on five format, teams will now be playing three on three. This was done in order to play two games at once on a rink, and so the entire tournament can be completed in one day. In previous years, the tournament was spread over a two-day weekend. A team consists of six to twelve players and each player pays $25 to participate.
In addition, there will also be a chance to buy raffle tickets and win donated prizes. The sponsorship team has been busy gathering donations from community members that can be won in the raffle. Some of the confirmed prizes are gift cards to Tim Hortons, Domino’s Pizza and Mahtay Café; gym bags and supplement powder from Popeye’s; and Niagara Ice Dogs memorabilia.
The day of the tournament will also feature other activities and contests such as an Accuracy Challenge and Hardest Slapshot. The date of the Seventh Annual Flora Broley Play for Memories Ball Hockey Tournament has been set for Apr. 2 and will take place at the Niagara Ball Hockey Club.
All of the proceeds from the registration fees and raffle will go directly to the Alzheimer’s Society of Niagara as the use of the rink is donated by the Broley family and all the people organizing the event are volunteers. In the past six years, over $33,000 has been raised for the Society and the goal of this year is to reach $5,500 with 24 teams participating.
“It’s a good way to connect the community and unite Brock students for a good cause,” said Jonah Graham, first-year BLCS member and a part of the sponsorship team.
For anyone interested in organizing a team, the registration deadline is Mar. 21 and the link can be found at www.facebook.com/events/947880455247361/
The tournament will take place on from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 2 at the Niagara Ball Hockey Club located at 16 Melbourne Avenue just off Westchester Crescent.
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