Hockey For Life tries to beat cancer one goal at a time
Updated: Saturday, April 13 2013, 09:31 AM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Beating cancer... one hockey goal at a time.
The annual Hockey for Life tournament kicked off Friday night and continues all weekend long at Wings West, featuring a series of great games for a great cause.
At this year’s event, the crowds can support the fight against cancer while also supporting a little boy from Watervliet who's fighting for his life.
Sean Hamilton is three and a half years old and recently found out he has inoperable brain cancer.
Hamilton is the guest of honor at Hockey for Life this weekend and will drop the puck to kick off one of the games Saturday morning.
“They are just a really neat family who unfortunately have been touched with cancer,” says Melanie Leoni, the tournament’s coordinator. “We're just excited to be able to help them out and hopefully make a difference.”
Leoni and her husband started Hockey for Life nearly a decade ago, after her cousin passed away from breast cancer.
She says every year, a growing number of people want to hit the ice to support the cause.
This year, they have more than 130 players on 12 different teams ready to duke it out in the rink.
“A lot of our hockey players have fought cancer or lost family members to cancer so it's just a worthy cause,” Leoni says.
Last year, the tournament brought in 18,000 dollars for the American Cancer Society. They hope to top that this year.
A local video game company, S2 Games out of Kalamazoo, is sponsoring the tournament and will also chip in ten dollars for every goal scored all weekend long.
Leoni hopes the community will fill up the stands to fight back against cancer.
“This is something we can do to make a difference,” Leoni adds. “And it's worth fighting for.”
The tournament kicked off Friday night and continues all day Saturday and Sunday at Wings West in Kalamazoo.
For more information, including a full tournament schedule, head to the Hockey for Life website or their Facebook page.