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500 youth hockey players stick it to kids cancer in weekend tournament

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About 500 young hockey players are playing their hearts out this weekend, while showing that their hearts are in the right place as well.

The opening ceremony for the eighth annual Simons Valley Hockey Association "Stick It to Kids Cancer" tournament was held Friday night at Max Bell Centre.

The tournament was started to show support for a Simons Valley player named Alec, who lost his battle with cancer in 2016.

Another Storm player, Luca, passed away from cancer in 2021.

This year, a player named James is the superhero for the tournament. At age six, his leg was amputated because of bone cancer.

He's still dealing with cancer in his lungs and he got a big cheer Friday night.

Puck drop at the Stick It to Kid's Cancer tournament, Friday March 24, 2023

The tournament started with one team, and has grown over the years to 28 teams in multiple divisions, from Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatchewan.

Players did everything from shovelling sidewalks to holding bottle drives to raise money.

"All the teams also have to raise at least $750," said tournament coordinator Stacy Baltzer. "We have teams that are over $6,000 raised. It's been incredible. I think the next (highest) team was $4,000 and $3,000.

"There isn't anybody that didn't meet those $750 quota in order to come to the tournament," she added, "so it's quite amazing that 28 teams are able to raise that much money."

Proceeds from a 50/50 draw, silent auction and raffle go to Kids Cancer Care.

If you'd like to participate, click on the link for more information.

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