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Celebrity hockey players join golfers in fight against cancer

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THUNDER BAY , ON   -----   June 11, 2010  ---  Thursday, Northwestern Jordan Staal signing a jersey for event chair Tom MihalcevicOntario’s hockey celebrities left their usual gear behind in favour of golf shoes and clubs. Homegrown hockey stars participated in the Freedom 55 Financial Thunder Bay Hockey Celebrity Golf Classic in support of cancer care in our region. Funds raised support the Northern Cancer Fund of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.

“I love returning to Northwestern Ontario. It’s great to be home helping support cancer patients in this community,” says Taylor Pyatt.
“The people here can always be counted on to provide support when it’s needed and I’m happy to be part of that.”

Pyatt was one of 32 hockey players to join teams of golfers for 18 holes at Whitewater Golf Course. The celebrity roster included Mark and Jordan Staal, Hayley Irwin, Tom Pyatt, and many others.

Cliff Friesen of Bearskin Airlines with Haley IrwinThe honour of choosing the first draft pick (Hayley Irwin) went to event sponsor Bearskin Airlines, whose “Hall-of-Fame” sponsor package included the privilege.  “By supporting this tournament, Bearskin Airlines not only ensures a wonderful event for hockey fans continues to enjoy success.  It also brings better care to cancer patients in this community,” say Cliff and Harvey Friesen.

A live auction determined the second draft pick of the day. Taylor Pyatt received the highest bid at $1,000. While the total amount raised by the Freedom 55 Financial Thunder Bay Hockey Celebrity Golf Classic is yet to be calculated, in the past four years, the event has raised more than $130,000 for the Northern Cancer Fund.

“100% of those funds stay in Northwestern Ontario to support cancer education & awareness, screening, treatment and research,” says Glenn Craig, President & CEO of the Health Sciences Foundation. “Events like this one have a direct impact on cancer patients in our community.
Because of support like this, more people are living with cancer than dying from it.”

Freedom 55 Financial, the financial security planning division of London Life, has supported the tournament for the past four years.
Staff, management and financial security advisors devote their time and enthusiasm to the tournament to help ensure its success.

In years past the tournament has been supported by a corporate contribution from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life through The Key to Giving™, the companies’ national corporate citizenship program. Freedom 55 Financial is the financial security planning division of London Life. To date, The Freedom 55 Financial Thunder Bay Hockey Celebrity Golf Classic has raised over $100,000 to advance cancer care for the people of Northwestern Ontario. 

“We are so grateful to the volunteers, sponsors, participants and hockey celebrities for helping us make this year’s event another success,” says Tom Mihaljevic, event chair and Director, Business Development for Freedom 55 Financial. “Today, we all helped make a difference in the lives of people with cancer in Northwestern Ontario.”

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