The Scotiabank Pro-Am brings together amateur hockey teams and the NHLA for a great weekend of hockey to raise money for the Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s research at Baycrest. Participating teams raise money for the foundation and then draft NHLA members onto their teams. It is a wonderful and inspiring event that has raised over $16 million in six years to assist in the much-needed research at Baycrest.
Looking back on the past few days, there are too many stories to tell (and some that I cannot tell) but I must say that riding on the bus with the Alumni members to and from the Draft Party is a memory I will never, ever forget. Sitting next to three-time Stanley Cup champion Mike Krushelnyski on the bus and having him call me “rookie” was a dream come true! One guest at the Draft Party saw that I was with the NHLA and wanted an autograph. When I said, “I’m the alumni writer not one of the players” they decided maybe they didn’t need an autograph after all - it was hilarious!
Having breakfast with Dave Schultz, Bryan Trottier, Laurie Boschman, John Anderson, Danny Gare and Marty McSorley was another moment to remember and cherish. As was meeting Brad Marsh, the President of the Ottawa Senators Alumni Association and mentioning to him that we have a shared connection - the Dawson City Nuggets. I also had the opportunity to chat with Lanny McDonald, Georges Laraque and Claude Lemieux to thank them in person for taking part in my “Ask the Alumni” series. It was a great feeling to be able to shake their hand and say thank you.
All of the NHL Alumni members at the event went out of their way to make me feel like one of the guys and thank you just does not seem like enough. I started the event as the “new guy” but left Toronto with many new friends and I will be forever grateful to them all for being so welcoming.
|Mr. Hockey and The Voice of Sport|
(Photo - TVOS)
The motto of the NHL Alumni Association is “Hockey’s Greatest Family” and I can honestly say from personal experience that it is indeed a great family and I am so proud to be part of it and to help raise awareness of the organization and all of their great work. A very special thank you to NHLA Executive Director Mark Napier, as well as Dylan Wade, Carly Napier, Debbie Sittler and Wendy McCreary for the invitation and supporting my work as a writer for the NHLA. I must also thank Sunny Pathak and everyone from Baycrest for including my work in the event program - it was an honour to assist in such a wonderful event.
For more information on the NHL Alumni, their members, my articles and all of the great work they do in so many communities, visit their website (nhlalumni.net) or follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/nhlalumni). You can also learn more about the great work at Baycrest by visiting their site (Baycrest.org).