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Fundraising hockey game to support Gord Downie Fund

Anyone looking to honour the memory of the late Gord Downie will get a chance to do so on Nov. 9 at a fundraising hockey game at the Rogers K-Rock Centre.

The game, between teams of students representing the Commerce and Engineering faculties at Queen’s University, is the featured match in the Cure Cancer Classic. Money raised at the game and the Inter-Faculty Classic tournament on Nov. 10 will go to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research, established in 2016 at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

Downie, an Amherstview native and lead singer of The Tragically Hip, died Oct. 17 of brain cancer. He was 53.

The Cure Cancer Classic is organized by students at Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business.

“Originally we raised funds for [another cancer organization], but we felt our contribution would mean a lot more if it went to Gord’s fund,” Matt Leger, director of special events for the Cure Cancer Classic, said. “We all live here in Kingston and we fell in love with the city, so we felt we should give back.”

The inaugural event, called the “Commerce vs. Engineering Rivalry Game,” was held in January at the Rogers K-Rock Centre. The game attracted a crowd of more than 1,500, mostly from the Queen’s community, and raised more than $11,000 for the Downie fund.

Leger hopes the Nov. 9 game will draw at least 3,000 fans. Each of the six teams in the tournament is responsible for raising $2,500 apiece and promoting the tournament within their own faculty.

“We would love to grow it bigger this year,” Leger, a third-year business student from Elmira, Ont., said.

A ticket to the game is $10 and gives the ticketholder access to a post-game party at The Ale House and entry into draws for a pair of Level 100 tickets to a 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball game, an iPhone 8 and a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey autographed by star player Auston Matthews.

“It should be an emotional night given that Gord just passed,” Leger said.

The Tragically Hip guitarist Paul Langlois is expected to represent the band at the game and take part in the ceremonial puck drop, as he did at January’s game.

“He was blown away by the support last year and agreed to come back,” Leger said.

Tickets are available at the Rogers K-Rock Centre box office and at the Atrium on the Queen’s campus. Game time is 7 p.m.

The six-team Nov. 10 tournament, at the Invista Centre, will involve teams from Commerce, Engineering, Kinesiology, Science, Arts and a post-grad team of doctors and lawyers. Each team will play two round-robin games, followed by semifinals and the final.

In the past, Cure Cancer Classic organizers hosted a road hockey tournament and a Movember campaign to raise money, but not this year, Leger said, “because we want to focus our efforts on the new tournament.”

In March, the group will host another fundraising hockey tournament for the Downie fund involving the business school team from Queen’s and teams from seven other universities’ business schools.

This article was originally written by Mike Norris at The Kingston Whig-Standard and posted on October 25, 2017. You can find the original article here.


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