After 24 hours of non-stop hockey at Bear Mountain arena, the Rink of Dreams hockey marathon raised $80,000.
Proceeds went to the Help Fill a Dream foundation to help children living with serious illnesses on Vancouver Island.
“In one word, this is ‘awesome,’” John Kelley, president of Help Fill a Dream said Friday. “What happens here in the next 24 hours will help many children on Vancouver Island.”
From Friday afternoon until Saturday afternoon, 13 hockey teams and other skaters came out to the arena at West Shore Parks and Recreation to support the cause.
Money was raised through team registration, a silent auction, raffles, a tailgate party and corporate sponsorship. At the end of the weekend the event tallied at least $80,000.
“Once all the dust settles and the tallies are in, that number should be significantly higher,” said Harp Sandu, Rink of Dream co-founder and a View Royal resident.
Kim Genereux, of Saanich, co-founded the project alongside Sandu. Both men work at the Victoria chapter of investment firm Macquarie Private Wealth. MPW is the title sponsor of the event.
“These men are the dream makers,” said Steve Duck, executive director of Help Fill a Dream. “We are very grateful.”
The foundation is using this money toward helping children living with serious illnesses. It helps children and their families by making dreams come true such as offering trips to Disneyland, providing financial assistance to families and helping with special projects such as adding wheelchair lifts and ramps to homes and vehicles.
With the success of this weekend, Sandu plans to organize this event next year as well.
In 2006 Sandu’s three-year-old nephew Shaan Sihota passed away from leukemia. This hit Sandu and his family hard. Sandu, a father of two, decided he wanted to do something to help kids in need.
When Sandu heard a radio advertisement for Help Fill a Dream foundation, he knew he’d found the charity he wanted.
He remembered his friend and colleague Genereux was on the board at the foundation and the two worked together making it possible.
“After (Shaan) passed away I wanted to do something to help kids,” Sandu said. “I just wanted to find the right charity.”