Puck drops Nov. 20 in Gananoque for Hockey Night in Leeds-Grenville
GANANOQUE -- The United Way's biggest fundraiser will be held this year in Gananoque.
Hockey Night in Leeds- Grenville is an annual event spearheaded by MP Gord Brown and featuring NHL alumni, local celebrities and other Members of Parliament.
Crytsal Sled, an organizer of this year's event from the United Way, says the United Way looks forward to this event every year and it is a large contributor to reach the United Way's campaign goal. The goal for this year's campaign is $995,000 and the United Way has now hit the halfway mark.
"This is the largest event by far," Sled said. "We count on this event so much. Last year we raised over $100,000."
This year, the United Way is aiming for the same amount from Hockey Night.
"We were really surprised to hit that mark and we'd like to do it again," she said. "It's such a great event for the community, and it is always a huge success every year."
This year's Hockey Night in Leeds-Grenville honourary chairman is Alyn McCauley, a native of Gananoque who is currently a scout with the NHL team the Los Angeles Kings.
McCauley was a superstar junior player with the Ottawa 67s before moving to the NHL. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks and the Kings before a recurring knee injury forced him to retire from playing.
Some on the names confirmed for this year's game are: former NHL players Rick Smith, Doug Smith, Fred O'Donnell, Sheldon Kennedy and Tony McKegney; Olympic gold medallists Jayna Hefford and Lori Dupuis; former OHL players Kevin Grimes and Brett Gibson, as well as local sponsors of the event and MPs from all over Ontario.
"There is such a mix of players," said Sled of those participating in the event. "There are Olympic gold medalists, NHL alumni and local players."
New this year is a special gala on November 19 for sponsors.
"It is a special-invite event," said Sled. "It is the first time we've done this, but it is our way to say thanks to the sponsors."
This is the fifth year for this event and it has been held previously in Brockville, Cardinal, Kemptville and Prescott. Over the years, hockey night has raised over $200,000 for the United Way.
Hockey Night in Leeds Grenville is scheduled to take place on November 20 at the Lou Jefferies Gananoque TLTI Recreation Centre, with the puck dropping at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $5 each or $10 for a family of four and can be purchased by calling the United Way office in Brockville at 613-342-8889.