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The weather couldn't have co-operated any better as 1,400 participants trudged through the awakening hours of the morning, hauling their sticks for a day of road hockey. It was the fifth annual Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer.
Little did they know that they would be part of two Guinness World Records.
Paul Alofs, the President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, announced that the Sept. 26 event had attracted 141 teams and more than 1,400 participants, and raised $2.4 million for personalized cancer medicine at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world.
The event established two Guinness World Records: most participants in a one-day fundraising road hockey event and most funds raised by a one-day fundraising road hockey event. A representative from the Guinness World Records office in New York was on hand to observe the event and confirm the numbers.
Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer is a non-competitive event where all participants are winners as are those benefiting from the funds raised. But there are three trophies presented. The Corporate Challenge Cup for the top fundraising corporation was Hatch (for the fourth consecutive year) who raised a staggering $217,609.95.
The Top Fundraising Team trophy went to the Ovarian Blitzers, led by Princess Margaret's Dr. Marcus Bernardini, a gynecological surgeon, who raised $91,882.35. Dr. Bernardini was also the Top Fundraising Individual, raising $50,560.35.
"Having the extraordinary support of these fundraising champions is a true game changer for Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer, and we thank them sincerely for their leadership in this amazing event," said Shawn Burt, the Chief Hockey Officer at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. "But everyone's support is so important to the event, and will help cancer patients in Toronto, across Canada and around the world."
Top fundraising teams also had the opportunity to draft one of 70 celebrities onto their team, and mingling amidst participants were hockey greats Darryl Sittler, Marcel Dionne, Glenn Anderson and Johnny Bower, the "Old Spice Guy" Isaiah Mustafa, Olympians Elizabeth Manley and Hilary Knight, and former Toronto Blue Jays star Kelly Gruber.
"It was just a perfect day in every conceivable way," Shawn said.