The Game is On

Pipestone Flyer

 Bryan Trottier, Hockey Hall of Famer with Glen Finstad City of Leduc Alderman, planners of the Pro-Am Face-Off for Alzheimer's.

 

 

City of Leduc, AB – They decided Calgary and Edmonton would not be on the ‘circuit’ this year, but this exclusion didn’t mean that this worthwhile event was going to disappear quietly! So the game is on…

What is referred to here is the PRO-AM FACE-OFF FOR ALZHEIMER’S, a Pro-Am hockey tournament that for the past several years has included these two cities. The Tournament’s founder, an Ontario company named Baycrest, a large long-term care facility also focused on Alzheimer’s research, chose not to include Alberta this year in their fundraising events. A success from the onset, this spirited concept of hockey games involving community and corporate teams finally included these two Alberta cities four years ago. In the past three years, the Edmonton and Calgary pro-am games have raised over $3.2 Million for this great cause. The concept is for these teams of amateur hockey players to raise a minimum of $25,000 each: then the top fundraising teams get first pick at their favorite among a group of NHL Alumni. On Day One of the tournament, an All-Star game will see the top 15 fundraising individuals play with 15 NHL alumni, while Day 2 will see another All-Star game where the two fundraising teams will face each other.

Two Alberta businessmen, passionate about the cause and aware that this huge success is still in the grass roots stage, decided to continue this 9 year-old tradition: Frank King, former Chair and CEO of the 1988 Calgary Winters Olympics and Greg Christensen, CEO of Christensen Developments in Edmonton, continued their association in deciding that their respective cities should host their own Pro-Am tournaments. With the support of their cities’ leaders and supporters of the cause, it is happening as they dreamed it would. 

Glen Finstad, City of Leduc alderman and a dedicated hockey fan, has spearheaded this project on the local level: he planned the get-together on Thursday November the 29 at the Denham Inn after initially showing an interest in doing this three years ago, invited key players and future corporate sponsors and finally, he introduced the special guests as key players in this great endeavor. LEDCOR was the official lunch sponsor, and its Business Development manager, Colin Tooth, was happy to share his enthusiasm for the project, stating that the LEDCOR hockey team would no doubt participate. 

Mayor Greg Krishke is candidly enthusiastic towards the cause –and the tournament, sharing that in the past three years of Leduc hosting this event, great crowds, a fantastic venue and scores of energetic volunteers have contributed to its success and that he sincerely hopes to put together a City team this time around: with four aldermen and several City managers playing hockey, it sounds like the start of a strong hockey team is already in place! Mayor Krishke reminded us that a City team’s financial contribution would be all about individual players being required to raise funds, so residents will be able to contribute!

Alzheimer’s is a grave concern in today’s society, with new statistics telling us that the number of Canadians with cognitive impairment, including dementia, is rising sharply and that Canada’s health-care system is ill-equipped to deal with the staggering costs that are just one of the grave concerns and pressures on the family caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. It is a widely-accepted fact that “Canada needs a dementia plan – now!” as stated on the www.alzheimer.ca website. The importance of physical activity, proper nutrition and mental exercise is stressed, to keep the brain active and combat the onset of Alzheimer’s, the most common of all dementia diseases.

Greg Christensen is the Edmonton businessman who brought this Pro-Am tournament to Edmonton four years ago, and then to Leduc in its second year in the region: he articulately shared his passionate and clear vision of the April 26 -2013 hockey tournament: he described that as sharing the LRC ( Leduc Recreation Centre) with the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Trade-Show, the PRO-AM FACE-OFF FOR ALZHEIMER’S will also share its crowds of visitors, offering families excellent hockey and autograph opportunities with favorite NHL and Hockey Hall of Fame players.

Will Anderson, Leduc Scotia Bank manager, vowed to be a strong supporter, as the bank has been a national sponsor since the early days of the tournament, and the local Scotia Bank has a hockey team! Mr. Anderson expressed great enthusiasm to see this project succeed, and exceed its past results. 

Bryan Trottier, the proud recipient of seven Stanley Cup rings, a former member of the NY Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins and a Hockey Wall of Famer is another champion of this cause. After being introduced, he described the background of this Pro-Am Tournament and mentioned how many retired NHLers in their 30s, 40s and older have a vested interest in supporting Alzheimer’s and dementia research. His touching speech was followed by a light-hearted question & answer period where guests were thrilled to ask questions about his many years as a NHL star, to which he responded with humorous candor.

Sylvie Keane was a touching speaker on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society for Alberta and the Northwest Territories, stating that “we exist to support those currently in the Alzheimer’s journey and also to help in finding a cure for this disease”. This disease is more than memory loss: it is a loss of communication, mobility and bodily functions. There are over 500,000 Canadians diagnosed with this disease, and this number came from a 2008 survey! The shocking stat is that this disease also affects people under 60. For unknown reasons, Alberta has the highest rate of Early Onset Disease in Canada. Our rate is 17%, while the Canadian average is 5%, and hopefully we will someday understand why. 

There are 15 support groups in the Edmonton area, one of them in the City of Leduc. Sylvie Keen stated that her presence at this gathering was to remind all of us and the communities we represent that our help will be critical and welcomed, in any way that we choose: sponsorship, creating a team, and generally supporting this project to help to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. 

It already sounds like some great community champions are on board, and Alberta can look forward to some skilled and congenial NHL pros to join the cause and help create two excellent hockey weekends, April 12 in Calgary and April 26 in Leduc. As the largest fundraiser for the Alberta Alzheimer’s Society, it is imperative that community members and corporate leaders embrace the challenge and support the goal of funding continued Alzheimer’s and dementia research. Submissions of hockey teams can be addressed to Glen Finstad at the City of Leduc’s Council Office. 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The influenza vaccine will be available at no cost starting Monday in Alberta. “The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Hinshaw urges Albertans to get flu shot as COVID cases jump by 332

Alberta’s central zone now has 132 active COVID-19 cases

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP engage Major Crimes Unit to investigate suspicious death

Unidentified human remains were found in the burnt residence.

Security footage of the unknown male- Wetaskiwin RMCP seeking public assistance to identify him. Photo provided/ Alberta RCMP.
Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance to identify male in armed robbery

Mickey N’ Minnie’s Liquor store in Millet, Alta., robbed at gun point Oct.13, 2020

Across the province, there are 2,738 active cases of COVID-19, with 18,417 recovered cases. There have been 288 deaths from the virus in Alberta since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Alberta reports 244 additional COVID-19 cases Thursday

2,738 active cases of COVID-19 in the province

Facebook/ Maskwacis Health Services
Maskwacis reporting rapidly growing cases following long weekend

Maskwacis declared a weeklong shut down on long weekend to curb increasing COVID-19 numbers.

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

(The Canadian Perss)
Banff wolves have lower survival rate due to hunting, trapping outside park boundary

Researchers looked at 72 radio-collared wolves in the national park from 1987 to August 2019

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Miramar Regional Park in Miramar, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is still hopeful about the Keystone pipeline if there’s a change in government in the U.S. next month, saying Alberta has been engaging with American officials from both sides of the aisle. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carolyn Kaster
Alberta premier says he’s still hopeful about Keystone, even if Biden elected

The Alberta government has agreed to invest about US$1.1 billion as equity in the project

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam takes part during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. As parts of Canada face a new round of COVID-19-related restrictions, Canada’s chief public health officer is urging Canadians to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Chief public health officer calls for continued ‘collective effort’ against COVID-19

Canada continues to climb toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
Officer with Prince Albert Police tests positive for COVID-19, force says

Police co-operating with the provincial health authority’s efforts to trace the officer’s contacts

Smoke haze from forest fires burning in Alberta and British Columbia hangs over Banff, Alta., in Banff National Park, Friday, July 21, 2017. Visitors to Banff National Park in Alberta will soon have to reserve a spot for a shuttle bus to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Banff wolves have lower survival rate due to hunting, trapping outside park boundary

Study shows grey wolves in Banff National Park don’t live much longer than those elsewhere in Alberta

Black Press file photo
Fire destroys lobster pound in Nova Scotia, police say man in hospital with injuries

RCMP say a man is in hospital with life threatening injuries

Most Read