Saturday, 13 September 2008

Right To Play's Festival Cup

One of the major charitable organizations that I outlined earlier this summer was Right To Play, an organization with literally hundreds of athletes from all walks of life helping them out. Along with the athletes, there were celebrities from all over the world who were also lending a hand in efforts to help Right To Play. On September 5, these two worlds came together in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre to play in the inaugural Festival Cup, a charity hockey game. Lots of NHL stars were on-hand to lend their support for the game, and some big names from Hollywood also stopped by to give Right To Play a hand in raising funds to help children around the world.

Team White consisted of Sean Avery (Dallas Stars), RIM CEO Jim Balsillie (Blackberry), actor Cameron Bancroft (Hockeyville, Little House), Tom Bernard (President of Sony Pictures Classics), Mike Cammalleri (Calgary Flames), Andrew Cogliano (Edmonton Oilers), musician Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Mike Green (Washington Capitals), Curtis Joseph (Toronto Maple Leafs), Bobby Kennedy Jr. (Environmental lawyer, Ring of Fire), director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Juno), Robyn Regehr (Calgary Flames), actor Tim Robbins (Mystic River, The Shawshank Redemption), Graeme Roustan (Bauer), Craig Simpson (Edmonton Oilers, Hockey Night in Canada), Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators), actor Alan Thicke (Growing Pains), actor Jason Thompson (General Hospital), Scott Thornton (NHL Free Agent), and Wojtek Wolski (Colorado Avalanche) while being captained by the great Doug Gilmour (Toronto Maple Leafs).

Team Red's members were Luc Robitaille (Los Angles Kings), Jennifer Botterill (Canadian Women’ National Team), Tim Connolly (Buffalo Sabres), actor Mark DeCarlo (Raising Helen), Kris Draper (Detroit Red Wings), Andrew Ference (Boston Bruins), actor Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights), NHL owner Oren Koules (Saw, Two and A Half Men), Nick Kypreos (New York Rangers, Rogers Sportsnet), actor Steven McQueen (Everwood), actor Lochlyn Munro (Smallville, CSI, Dead Man on Campus), Mike Richter (New York Rangers), Gary Roberts (Tampa Bay Lightning), Derek Roy (Buffalo Sabres), musician Joey Scoleri (Hollywood Records), Sami Jo Small (Canadian Women’s National Team), Matt Stajan (Toronto Maple Leafs), actor D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge, Jericho), Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks), and Jeremy Williams (Toronto Maple Leafs) while being captained by Mats Sundin (NHL free agent).

"It's a great inspiration to see so many high-profile stars from Hollywood and the hockey world come together for the inaugural Festival Cup, presented by GMP Capital Trust, in support of Right To Play," Johann Koss, President and CEO of Right To Play, said at the press conference in Toronto. "These actors and athletes understand that sport and play are critical tools to help children and communities in disadvantaged areas of the world build a healthier, more peaceful future."

The game went back and forth all evening long, and there were some great plays made by the stars. At the end of the third period, the game was tied 8-8, and a shootout was needed. Five shooters for each team couldn't solve anything until Team White's Jim Balsillie put the puck past Sami Jo Small to give them the victory.

Overall, it looked as if the event was a blast, and over 5000 attended the event with all the proceeds going to Right To Play's initiatives. There's a great photo gallery on the Toronto Sun's website, taken by Dave Abel. I suggest checking those photos out.

"I believe in the positive power of sport and play for children," said Wayne Gretzky, Honourary Chair of Right To Play's Canadian Advisory Board, at the press conference. "In addition to keeping kids out of trouble and engaging them in a constructive activity, sports teach children many lessons and values including teamwork and determination. The Festival Cup is a great opportunity to help support the important initiatives of Right To Play."

I have to agree, Mr. Gretzky. Congratulations go out to Right To Play for their fabulous event, and a huge "thank you" to all the players and celebrities who are helping Right To Play. This is a phenomenal organization, and they work tirelessly to improve the lives of children around the world.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Brooklyn Hockey Boy said...

Right to Play is an awesome organization, and it's great to see that so many actors, hockey players, business owners, and other big names come together for a charity hockey game. Great job covering this!