By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Although he was often proclaimed as a hero during his successful 13-year NHL career, Eric Lindros seems to have passed that mantle onto the children who benefit from his annual charity hockey tournament.
Speaking during a launch event for his sixth annual Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic, the former Oshawa General and Hockey Hall of Famer was visibly moved by the impact the event has had.
“We have a wonderful team that helps our Easter Seals ambassadors,” he said, his voice full of emotion.
Even though participants in the event have the opportunity to skate with the players they likely watched on television, Lindros believes what’s most important is the support provided to children and youth with physical disabilities.
Kaydance Lane of Lindsay is an Easter Seals ambassador and one of the youths who benefits from the tournament.
The 8-year-old, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, was able to attend camp for the first time this summer with the support of Easter Seals and funds raised through Lindros’ tournament. A video aired during the launch event showing her reaction to the news she would be going to camp, with Kaydance enthusiastically proclaiming “I was accepted” over and over.
When asked by event host and lead singer of Canadian supergroup Lighthouse Dan Clancy what her favourite thing about camp was, Kaydance said she loves canoeing and making smores.
Lindros will be joined by a number of former NHLers including Nik Antropov, Gary Leeman, Al Iafrate, Steve Thomas, Mike Krushelnyski and more as they take to the ice with local players in a three-game tournament.
Coralie Jacobs, senior development officer for Easter Seals and tournament organizer, says they are hoping to continue the momentum from last year when they surpassed the $1 million mark in fundraising.
Nurse Chevrolet Cadillac in Whitby, where the launch event was held, has been a partner in the Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic since the beginning.
“It is a worthy cause that allows us to see our dollars going directly to help families in our region. Nurse Chevrolet Cadillac believes in supporting local charities, and our team is proud to be involved with an initiative that focuses on helping kids be kids,” said dealer Mary Nurse.
The Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic takes place Friday, Nov. 3 at the Iroquois Park Sports Complex in Whitby.
There is still room for a few more teams, Jacob says. Interested parties can register and find more information at http://celebrityhockeyclassics.com/whitby/eric-lindros-celebrity-hockey-classic/
For more information, contact Jacobs at 705-761-4159 or firstname.lastname@example.org