Unnamed donor to match gifts to Longest Hockey Game cancer fundraiser
'It's a person who's been incredibly moved by the passion and commitment of all the volunteers'
As the clock ticks down on the Worlds Longest Hockey Game, an anonymous donor has stepped up in an effort to boost donations to the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
The person, who asked not to be identified, will match individual donations that are made from Friday to the end of the event Monday, said George Andrews, president and CEO of the foundation.
"It's a person who's been incredibly moved by the passion and commitment of all the volunteers involved in this hockey game, and of course the story behind every individual who's got a connection to someone in their family, or personal connection, to cancer," Andrews said.
It's a dollar-for-dollar match in donations from individuals not corporations or businesses, he said.
The game has raised just over $400,000 to date with approximately $140,000 of that coming from individual donations, Andrews said.
This years' fundraising goal is $2 million.
Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse both dropped in on the event this week. Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly and members of the 1984-85 Oilers hockey team have also visited.
Brent Saik, who is hosting the hockey game on his property Saiker's Acres just east of Sherwood Park, held the first game in 2003, followed by games in 2005, 2008 and 2011.
Each person involved in the event has a connection to someone who has fought, survived, or lost a battle with cancer.
Saik lost his father to cancer in 1994 and his wife in 2003.
"They put their sweat and their tears and their pain and their blisters and everything else into play and they're generating much-needed money that will go towards research," Andrews said.
The game supports research into cancers that specifically affect children, he said.
Saik and his friends set a Guinness World Record on Feb. 16, 2015, of 250 hours, three minutes and 20 seconds. It was then surpassed by a group in Buffalo, N.Y. by one second in July 2017.
The players expect to break that record on Family Day, sometime between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.