September 28, 2014

It was “Game on, cancer,” as this morning, during Opening Ceremonies, Paul Alofs, President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, announced that this year’s Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer has raised a staggering. $2.219 million to help the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre lead the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine. 1,387 players took part in the fundraising event.

Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer is a dawn to dusk fundraising event. Each of the 122 teams played five games through the course of the day, and were kept fully engaged between games with great food, courtesy of Boston Pizza and Longo’s, drinks, live music, interactive games and the oh-so-welcomed massage therapy.

The Highland Creek Pipe Band, led by Pipe Major Glenn Healy, marched into the main tent to announce the start of opening ceremonies. Then Healy, the hockey and broadcast personality, was joined by Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos. The two played together on the 1994 Stanley Cup New York Rangers. The talented Carley Allison, a cancer survivor, got the players ready for action with Canada’s national anthem. Dr. Antonio Finelli, a surgical oncologist in the Division of Urology and captain of the Mighty Docs, spoke about the use of funds raised by Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer. Paul Henderson, the hero of Team Canada at the Summit Series against the Soviet Union in 1972, spoke about his iconic goal, and then talked of his own cancer journey. Long-time participant Tyler McGregor, a bronze medalist with his Canadian teammates in sledge hockey at the 2014 Paralympic Games, was appropriately saluted.

Later, children took part in their own series of games, culminating in a spirited game against mascots from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Argonauts, Brampton Beast, Hockey Hall of Fame, Jack Links and Seneca College.

One of the highlights for many was a game that pitted the top ten fundraisers against a team of celebrities, including Hall of Famers Glenn Anderson, Marcel Dionne, Geraldine Heaney, Angela James and Darryl Sittler, Olympic gold medalists Gillian Apps and Jayna Hefford, football legends Damon Allen and Russ Jackson, musicians from Great Big Sea, Billy Talent and Platinum Blonde and many others.

Special plans were also announced for the events milestone fifth year. In 2015, the Toronto Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer event will inaugurate its first Hall of Fame members, will invite global participation and will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for participants in a road hockey event. The logo for the milestone year was also revealed. This will be The Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer.
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