It’s always a good situation when you’re able to use the game of hockey as a vehicle for real-world change. Taking a sport that unites all Canadians, and channelling that collective energy into making the day-to-day lives of others just a little bit better, is an opportunity that we should never take for granted. As such, Scotiabank has once again partnered with the Baycrest Foundation to host the 12th Annual Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer’s™.
What Is The Pro-Am?
The Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer’s™ in support of Baycrest is a big, big tournament. In fact, it’s the largest on-ice fundraising hockey tournament in North America, having raised over $30 million since its inception in 2004.
The idea is pretty simple. The weekend tournament, which takes place between May 4th and 6th, allows for individuals or teams to register to face off against each other, but with a twist; NHL Alumni will be mixed into your rosters. Depending on how much money your team fundraises, you’ll either be able to draft a former great or have one assigned to you, to play two or all three of your games. The alumni list, which can be found here, currently includes 17 players, nearly a dozen of whom are former Leafs.
While there isn’t a prizing system based on tournament performance, there are all sorts of different prizes up for grabs! Almost everyone at every level can win something either individually or as part of a team for their fundraising efforts! Prizes range from gift cards to NHL fan experiences to getting to face the CWHL’s Toronto Furies in a championship game.
The Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer’s™ weekend also includes a Draft Night party for teams who have hit their fundraising minimums, and an All-Star Game to watch the pros come together.
There’s also a great family skate that takes place right after the All-Star game.
Funds raised in Toronto enable Baycrest Foundation to support:
- A comprehensive system of care for ageing patients.
- Dedicated centres focused on mitigating the impact of age-related illness and impairment.
- Unmatched global knowledge exchange and commercialization capacity.
Why is it Important?
You’ve probably heard of Alzheimer’s before. It’s a specific type of dementia that impacts your memory and cognitive ability. It is commonly found in seniors, increasing in severity on those affected as time goes by.
What you likely haven’t heard is how common it is.
An estimated 564,000 Canadians are living with dementia. By 2031, this figure is expected to rise to 937,000, an increase of 66 percent. It’s an extremely tough to manage disease with significant quality-of-life impact. As the average estimated lifespan of a person increases, so too do their odds of becoming affected by Alzheimer’s.
That’s where Baycrest comes into play. Founded nearly a century ago as a home for seniors, Baycrest has evolved into a hospital, research facility, and residence for the elderly. It’s a very, very impressive complex, both on the outside (the hospital is, for all intents and purposes, my next-door neighbour and I see it every time I look out my bedroom window), and within. They host hundreds of patients in their residence, have thousands of staff and volunteers, train thousands of students and nurses every year, and do a spectacular job of serving the community; particularly in an area with a significant senior population.
Ensuring a positive quality of life at all ages is incredibly important, and Baycrest does a great job of helping those in need. The fact that there’s a hockey tournament in which we can both play and meet our heroes to help such an important cause is just icing on the cake.
How do I take part?
Does this all sound like something that you’d like to be a part of? Fantastic! With that in mind, I strongly suggest that you head over to the registration page and get yourself started. You can sign up as an individual, or you can begin to set up your team. Note that a minimum of $1,000 will have to be raised for individuals and $15,000 for teams.
If you’re still on the fence, please head over to the Pro-Am website to learn more about the players, what Baycrest does, or what you could (should!) be doing on that weekend.
At the end of the day, this is an incredibly cool event that contributes to a very noble cause, and it would be really cool to see some of our own take part in it. We hope that it’s something you consider being involved with!