Charity Hockey’s Main Goal: A Win Over Cancer

During the holiday season, charity and goodwill often take the spotlight–even on the ice. 

The 4th annual Charity Hockey Tournament starts Friday, Nov. 29, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, at the Tampa Bay Skating Academy (TBSA) in Oldsmar. The event, sponsored by Goals for a Cause, will raise money for

Former Lightning player
and current center for the
Philadelphia Flyers, Vinny
Lecavalier, center, poses
with “Goals for a Cause”
founders Frank Daly, left,
and Neil Armstrong.

children with cancer and for underprivileged young athletes.

About 100 hockey players, many who play in the “50 and over” leagues at TBSA and Brandon, will participate in the tournament. There are also college-level players who participate in the fundraising event. 

Goals for a Cause is a charitable organization that aims to provide support to area nonprofits by combining fundraising, volunteer efforts … and hockey. 

Last year, the charity hockey tournament raised $6,600 to help feed the hungry through Feeding America Tampa Bay. This year, the money raised will go to the Vinny Lecavalier Foundation and the Tony Rolon Hockey Scholarship Fund.  

“Every year we continue to build,” says Scott McCance, an event organizer. “We want to do more than we did last year.” 

TBSA is one of several sponsors of the event. Other sponsors include Jack Willie’s Bar Grill & Tiki restaurant, Creative Water Concepts, Inc., Lee Roy Selmon’s, FAST of Florida, Inc., Can-Ice, Stahl & Associates Insurance, LegalJourney Law Firm, and 2nd Time Sports. 

Among other outreach projects, the Vinny Lecavalier Foundation, or Vinny 40 Foundation, provides support for children and families affected by cancer through the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center located at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. 

Each year in the U.S., there are about 13,400 children who are diagnosed with cancer.

“We are so fortunate that ‘Goals for a Cause’ chose to support Vinny and his foundation,” says Genevieve Bale, executive director for the foundation. “Knowing that people continue to support him although he no longer wears the Lightning uniform speaks volumes about the impact he continues to have on the children and families battling with pediatric cancer.”

After playing 14 seasons with the Lightning team, Lecavalier recently made a switch to the Philadelphia Flyers. In 2007, he gave $3 million to the hospital for the pediatric center. 

McCance says most of the money raised will go to the Vinny 40 Foundation. But some of it will also go to the Tony Rolon Fund, which provides financial assistance for underprivileged children so they can purchase hockey equipment and ice time. 

These hockey players will help raise money
Nov. 29, to Dec. 1, 2013, at the Charity Hockey
Tournament held at TBSA in Oldsmar. 

To help raise funds, there will be a silent auction and a raffle. Items include a pair of Vinny Lecavalier autographed, game-used skates; a 2012-13 Tampa Bay Lightning team-signed helmet; a 2013 Vinny Lecavalier autographed jersey; a Vinny Lecavalier autographed and game-used CCM RBZ stick; a Bauer helmet with 23 autographs, including Vinny’s, Marty St. Louis’, Stamkos’ and 20 others; a Bobby Hull, Chicago Black Hawks, autographed jersey; and a Jean Beliveau, #4 Montreal Canadians former captain, autographed jersey.

The idea to pitch in to help those in need in the community began when the four founders–Neil Armstrong, Frank Daly, Norm Dann and Rich Stack–were moved to do what they could in 2010 to raise money to benefit the Kocab/Curtis Memorial Fund in honor of slain Tampa police officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis. 

The first charity hockey tournament raised $4,500 for the Tampa Police Officers’ memorial fund. The second year, they raised $5,500 for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. All of the charity events have been held at TBSA. 

So help keep the giving going and come on out to TBSA in Oldsmar this weekend to enjoy some holiday hockey fun.