Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Summer Showdown finishing on high note

Final fundraising game will see goal reached

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CAM BARKER was part of the first SuperStar Summer Showdown fundraising hockey game and he'll be part of the last one on Aug. 11 at the MTS Iceplex.

The sixth fundraising hockey game featuring NHL stars, which will be played at 7 p.m., has been a key element of the Believe In The Goal Foundation

Among the players expected to suit up for the charity event are Jonathan Toews, Jordin Tootoo, Mike Richards, Travis Zajac, Cam Barker, Derek Meech and Colton Orr. For game ticket-holders only, players will be available prior to the game in the MTS Autograph Alley at 4-5 p.m.

Proceeds from the game go to the Believe In The Goal Foundation, which supports cancer-patient care in Manitoba in memory of former Western Hockey League player Todd Davison. Davison died on Dec. 2, 2006 at age 20 after a three-year battle with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

"Me and Todd were friends more than anything, we were always around each other. When he got sick... this was his legacy he was leaving behind, so it's great to see all the people who do come out and support it," said Barker, who was signed by the Edmonton Oilers last month and will attend their NHL training camp next month.

He and Davison attended St. Paul's High School together and were teammates with Team Manitoba and played against each other in the WHL.

"I think I can speak for all the guys who play in the game that it has been a direct reflection of Todd and the good work he wanted to do and that's why people are so drawn to this cause."

Colleen Deckert, Believe In The Goal Foundation president, said it was decided this would be the final year for the game, as gathering the players in the summer became more difficult as their careers evolved.

"One of our main objectives with the Foundation was to complete the Believe In The Goal room in Todd's memory at Children's Hospital and we will complete that in the next week so we're very happy about that," said Deckert, noting there are still 200 tickets available for the hockey game.

Deckert said some furniture and electronics are being added to the room, which is special space for adolescent patients being treated for cancer.

"Being able to achieve what we wanted to do from the get-go is the most important thing," Barker said. "The guys enjoy playing the game, it's been a great chance for people to come out and meet all the players and get autographs. It's just a fun day, something that's unique. We'll miss it, but having that room almost complete and raising a lot money, being able to meet a lot of great kids, see their growth and progress and help them out, that's the main goal and that's not going to change."

The Foundation will continue with its Believe Blankets program where the NHL players visit Children's Hospital and give special fleece blankets to youngsters. Also continuing is the NHL Experience program where a youngster fighting cancer is given a trip to see one of his/her NHL heroes playing an NHL game. The Foundation's fundraising golf tournament will continue to be held, with this year's event on Aug. 10 at Bel Acres.

"We know Todd would be in awe of how the Winnipeg community has embraced the Believe cause," said Deckert, whose son Jesse was a former teammate of Davison's.

In the past five years, the Foundation has raised over $300,000 to help young local cancer patients. Tickets to the hockey game can be purchased through Ticketmaster. See www.believeinthegoal.com for more information.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

SuperStar Summer Showdown

  • Thursday, Aug. 11, 7 p.m. MTS Iceplex
  • MTS Autograph Alley: 4-5 p.m. (ticketholders only)
  • $30 per ticket from Ticketmaster

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 6, 2011 C4

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