Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 21, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Monday, February 21, 2011
World’s Longest Hockey Game wraps up, raises $870,000
After ten days of non-stop play, the World’s Longest Hockey Game has wrapped up with a new fundraising total and has set a new Guiness World Record.
More than $870,000 was raised since the game began on Feb. 11, which is a new record but still short of the event’s $1 million goal.
“The outpour from this community has just been unbelievable,” said Bobbi Walbeck with the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
“It’s just been the most amazing ten days. It was just awe-inspiring. The passion, the dedication of not only the 40 players but the volunteers behind the scenes, the 24-hour maintanence crew, the kitchen, the community that has stood behind these players and this game, it’s just so absolutely amazing.”
The players at Saiker’s Acres officially broke the longest hockey game record of 241 consecutive hours played at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, but continued to play on the ice until just after 1 p.m.
Walbeck said this year the referees and key volunteers took part in raising funds, something they hadn’t done in the past.
The referee’s alone raised more than $75,000 while volunteers altogether raised more than $100,000.
Fourty players, 39 men and one woman, and about 1,000 volunteers worked together throughout the World’s Longest Hockey Game all in an effort to raise money to purchase a new Linear Accelerator for the Cross Cancer Institute.
Though the rollercoaster weather created challenges for players, the game’s only female player, Jenelle Trenchuk, said it was all worth it.
“I felt helpless when my close relatives were battling cancer. You just sit there and watch them deteroriate. This was my opportunity to do something, you don’t feel so helpless,” Trenchuk said.
“It’s an awesome opportunity.”
A steady stream of visitors and supporters went to watch the charity game and Global Edmonton also live-streamed the entire ten days of the game from beginning to end.
Along with raising money, organizers say it was just as important to raise awareness through the ten-day game.
“To see this kind of support not only financially but the awareness that events and people like this creates, it just makes all the difference,” Walbeck said.
“We need people to understand cancer and that there’s more than 200 types of cancer. That’s how we get to the root of the problem is research, pieces of equipment, we need to find ways to make this better for our cancer patients and our families.”
Alberta Health Services will match dollar to dollar the amount of money raised from the event and while the on-ice portion has wrapped up, organizers say they will continue to fundraise in other ways to reach the $1 million goal.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation will continue to accept donations online for at least another month. To donate online, click here.
The first “World’s Longest Hockey Game” in 2003 raised $150,000 to purchase a Gene Analyzer used in pediatric cancer research at the Cross Cancer Institute.
In 2005, the Game raised more than double — a record $350,000 to purchase a Microarray Platform. In 2008 the players raised an unprecedented $558,468 for the Cross to purchase a Confocal Microscope.
With files from Slav Kornik