Annual tournament raises $3,100 for Relay for Life

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Ball hockey tournament more than doubles single-day funds raised

NEW GLASGOW – Sergeant Kevin Scott battled cancer, and came out on top. 

Sgt. Kevin Scott kicked off the annual Relay for Life ball hockey tournament with a ceremonial ball drop Saturday morning. Pictured from left are Dave Guthro, Const. Ryan Leil, Scott, Const. Nick Hirtle and Brian Haines.

Every year in his honour, the teams in the annual Relay For Life ball hockey tournament are just trying to win the game.

“(It’s) a little humbling,” Scott said about what it means to have it continue into its fourth year.

Not only is it a healthy activity, Scott said, it reminds the community that cancer happens everywhere.

“It does exist in our community.”

The tournament is gaining in popularity, co-organizer Ryan Leil said, increasing from eight teams to 10 and doubling the fundraising.

“I think it’s the nature of the fundraising, what it’s for. There’s nobody involved in this tournament, or for that matter nobody out there, that hasn’t been affected by some sort of cancer in their life,” Leil said about why it’s so well received.

He noted that the New Glasgow Regional Police have been involved with the Relay For Life since its inception, and were looking for a new way to raise money for it.

Most years, they’ve raised approximately $1,500 between the player fee of $30, raffles, silent auctions and donations. This year they more than doubled their single day total, raising $3,100. Their running total of funds raised through the tournament’s four years is $7,050.

“We wanted to come up with a way to raise more money for our team and especially now while it’s getting more and more difficult to fundraise with the economy. You’ve got to come up with creative ways and this is a good way.”

To keep it interesting, they’re always trying to improve the event. This year, it was held outside at the Westside Community Centre for the first time, allowing for five-on-five.

One thing that doesn’t change is the spirit.

Although it’s sportsmanlike, Leil said, it’s competitive.

“People want to win, especially people that have been here for a long time. People do want to beat Gabriel’s Believers. They’ve won it every single year.”

Gabriel’s Believers did win the tournament for the fourth straight year with a 4-3 victory in the final.

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