Hospice tournament attracts record number of hockey players
Hockey for Hospice Tournament in Windsor on Dec. 28, 2013 Stefanie Masotti/CTV Windsor
About 1,400 players took part in the 18th annual Hockey for Hospice Tournament, which was a record number.
The tournament takes place across Windsor and Essex County and runs for three days.
The event has raised more than $1.6 million during the past 17 years.
Proceeds from the tournament go to the Hospice of Windsor and Essex, which was the first community-based palliative hospice village in North America.
"Everyone, at one time or any other has the tragedy of someone being ill and the hospice is a wonderful place for these people to go when they are sick to end their life," says Valerie Caradonna, who was watching her grandson play.
The tournament also raises awareness about the local hospice.
"We try and get people to go in the dressing rooms to explain to the kids exactly what hospice does, what they do for the community,” says Paul Pietraszko, co-chairperson of the tournament. “That's why we say the kids are doing something for the community and hospice is doing something for the community."
Valerie Caradonna’s grandson Lucas was participating in the tournament for the third time. He went door to door collecting funds for the hospice. Lucas says he will raise more than that next year, with help from his family.
"They are here every game supporting him. They have just as much fun as Lucas has playing hockey,” says his coach Dan Pettypiece, of the Amherstburg Stars.
More than 200 games are scheduled over the weekend, with about 100 teams taking part.
It is a tournament for all ages.