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Hope Cup Pond Hockey Tournament Fundraiser

While the Hope Cup Pond Hockey Tournament on Saturday promises much fun, there is a more serious side to the event.

The goal is to raise awareness of homelessness in the community while also raising necessary funds for Hope Centre and the Hope House hostel.

“The focus is to address homelessness in our community,” said Paul Turner, one of the tournament organizers. “I think everybody deserves to have shelter. Homelessness shouldn’t happen in a rich country like Canada.”

Turner said it’s time poverty got on the agenda of provincial and federal governments because communities like Welland are saying that homelessness is “unacceptable.”

In order to raise funds to help those in need, participants of the pond hockey tournament must cover a $100 registration fee through a personal donation, sponsorship or pledges collected from friends and family. A tax receipt will be provided.

“Last year we raised about $3,600,” said Turner. “We set modest (fundraising) goals but it would be nice to raise $4,000 to $5,000 this year.”

The three-on-three tournament is in its fifth year, said Turner, and every year more people get involved. It started out with only 25 people. For this year organizers are hoping for 40 to 50 hockey players.

When the tournament first got off the ground, Turner said it was more about getting old friends together who used to like to play on the Chippawa Park pond. As the friends got together, they started to consider a tournament and how it could benefit those in the community. Now it’s an annual fundraiser for Hope Centre and Hope House.

While most of the players are older men, anyone who wants to play is encouraged to come out either to play or cheer on friends and family. Members of Welland junior B hockey will be playing and students of Notre Dame are volunteering to help with the event.

People can register the day of the event by showing up to the Chippawa Park pond at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. No teams will be created until that day. Games are expected to start at about 11 a.m. and the tournament should wrap up by 2:30 p.m.

All participants have to do is show up with skates, a stick and their donation. The City of Welland will ensure the ice is ready and will provide the nets for the tournament.

Article clipped from the Welland Tribune

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