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This article was published 28/1/2019 (811 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The last year has been massive for the Canadian CMV Foundation.
The foundation is chaired by St. Boniface resident Rob Tétrault, who is also the driving force behind Le Classique, which is billed as Western Canada’s largest winter outdoor 3-on-3 ball hockey festival.
This year’s event, which is presented by MLT Aikins, will be held on Feb. 8 and 9 at Whittier Park. It will be the seventh instalment of the event, which is the largest annual fundraiser for the foundation. The cause is close to Rob Tétrault’s heart, as his son was born with CMV — otherwise known as congenital cytomegalovirus.
CMV is a debilitating congenital birth defect that can cause serious disease in babies who were infected with it before birth. Around one in 150 children is born with the condition, which can cause a range of neurodevelopmental disabilities in babies.
Describing 2018 as a remarkable year for the foundation, Tétrault said the last 12 months have yielded some huge steps forward. These include working with the Ontario government to pass precedent-setting legislation to have universal CMV screening across the whole province; directly funding the foundation’s first Canadian research grant; and hosting the second national symposium in Montreal.
"Last year was a big one, and it’s really exciting," Tétrault told The Lance in the run-up to this year’s Le Classique.
"To have targeted training protocol is a huge win, and we funded two separate research initiatives for the first time. Now, we’re actually seeing tangible progress resulting from our event. Of course, there have been wins along the way, but last year was very big for us."
"Le Classique has certainly given me lots of joy, and has definitely changed my life. And now, some babies, without a doubt, will directly have their lives saved by the tournament, and that’s really something," he added.
Since Tétrault co-founded the event with Marc Foidart seven years ago, it has continued to grow by the addition of teams, divisions, and activities to the weekend. This year will showcase five divisions — novice, competitive, corporate, women’s, and co-ed — and there will also be a social on the Friday night, and children’s activities on the Saturday afternoon.
"Le Classique is really what started it all for our foundation," Tétrault said. "When we started the event, we knew we wanted to throw a party, but at the same time, we knew we wanted to raise money. The Canadian CMV Foundation is the result of all that hard work."
Tétrault said the targeted goal is to raise around $75,000 at this year’s event.
Go online at leclassique.ca for more information about the event.
Visit www.cmvcanada.com to learn more about the foundation.
The Lance community journalist
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.