An All-Star Line-Up of NHL Alumni & Canadian Women's Hockey Legends Lace Up for the Sixth Annual Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer's

Toronto event aims to raise more than $2.8 million, adding to national total for 2011 of $5.1 million

TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - More than 50 NHL Alumni and Canadian Women's Hockey Legends are lacing up for a friendly competition in Canada's largest charity hockey tournament for Alzheimer's at the sixth annual Scotiabank Pro-Am in Toronto, on May 5, 6 and 7, 2011. The hockey heroes are being drafted to teams of everyday hockey enthusiasts from the GTA who are raising funds to benefit the Gordie & Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer's at Baycrest.

The Scotiabank Pro-Am hockey tournament, now in its sixth year in Toronto, expanded to Edmonton in 2010 and Calgary in 2011 and has raised more than $13 million to date.  Proceeds will help fund research in Alzheimer's and related disorders at Baycrest, a world-renowned academic health sciences centre.

"Alzheimer's is a difficult disease to understand, and it can be devastating to the families affected," said Paul Coffey, former Edmonton Oiler and 2004 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame.  "Through the Scotiabank Pro-Am, much-needed funds are being raised to help Baycrest and regional Alzheimer societies continue to make great strides with their research.  I stand behind this cause and anything I can do to raise awareness to help prevent this awful disease, I will."

"The Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund at Baycrest started shortly after my mom passed away,'' said Marty Howe.  "It was difficult for my Dad at the time, but I thought it would be a great honour for my family to be involved and to help raise funds for a disease that affected our lives and other families like ours. When we learned that Baycrest was an international leader in aging and brain health, we knew we had found an important ally. This disease is a terrible thing to go through - you're helpless, it's such a heartbreaking thing to experience."

The Gordie & Colleen Howe Fund is named in tribute to Gordie and in loving memory of his wife Colleen, who passed away in March, 2009 from Pick's disease, a form of dementia.  The Howe Fund provides valuable funding for care and research in Alzheimer's and related dementias at Baycrest.

Baycrest recently announced a partnership with the NHL Alumni Association on an innovative new brain health study to be funded in part by the Scotiabank Pro-Am. Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute, one of the top neuroscience institutes in the world, is recruiting healthy retired NHL players in order to identify the risk factors associated with cognitive decline and mental health changes as they age, including lifestyle habits, chronic health conditions and concussion history. 

"The funds raised at this year's tournament will benefit our study, and help us understand the aging brain not only in professional athletes, but in the population at large," said investigator Dr. Brian Levine, a senior scientist with the Rotman Research Institute and expert in head trauma and dementia.  "In head injury, teasing apart the contribution of genetics and other health factors to aging and brain function is a great challenge, and by comprehensively assessing both the players and matched comparison subjects, we hope to better understand this process."

In the Toronto event, a few of the participating Alumni include: Dino Ciccarelli, Wendel Clark, Paul Coffey, Lanny McDonald, Mike Krushelnyski, Curtis Joseph, Georges Laraque, Mark Napier and former Women's Olympians Lori Dupuis, Sami Jo Small and Vicky Sunohara.  The hockey greats will hit the ice at Canlan Ice Sports - York University on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 following the Draft Night on May 5 when teams are completed with the selection of their final players.  There are 48 teams registered for the Toronto event.  For a list of participating NHL Alumni and Canadian women's hockey players please see attached backgrounder.

The Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer's is an innovative fundraiser that offers amateur hockey players the chance to play with, and against, a host of NHL Alumni while raising critical funds for Alzheimer's research and care.  Teams must raise a minimum of $25,000, and based on the team's collective fundraising efforts, they will get to draft an NHL Alumnus to play on their team.

"At Scotiabank we are thrilled to see the success of the Scotiabank Pro-Am across Canada and we look forward to its growth in the future as this exciting tournament raises funds for an important cause," said John Doig, Scotiabank Senior Vice-President, Toronto Region.  "At Scotiabank we welcome the opportunity to be involved in an event that gives people a unique experience while enjoying a game with some of hockey's biggest stars. We have two teams signed up for the Toronto tournament and we look forward to seeing who they draft!"

For more information, to sponsor a team or participant in the Scotiabank Pro-Am, please visit,
www.scotiabankproam.com.

About the Gordie & Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer's
Gordie and Colleen Howe's contribution to hockey is legendary, earning them the title Mr. and Mrs. Hockey™.  When Colleen lost her battle with dementia in March of 2009, Gordie lost a wife, his children lost a mother and the world of hockey lost a champion.  It was a battle that inspired the Howe family to improve the lives of others affected by the ravages of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.  In pursuit of this mission, they have attached their name to the Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimer's at Baycrest.

About Baycrest
Headquartered on a 22-acre campus in Toronto, Ontario and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest is a global leader in developing and providing innovations in aging and brain health.   Baycrest is unique in the world, combining  a comprehensive system of care for aging patients, one of the world's top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, dedicated centres focused on mitigating the impact of age-related illness and impairment, and unmatched global knowledge exchange and commercialization capacity.

An independent benchmarking study concluded that few institutions match the breadth and uniqueness of the integrated models of service delivery and the calibre of translational research at Baycrest. Baycrest has alliances and partnerships across Canada and is engaged with collaborators across the globe to advance healthy aging and the well-being of seniors.  Baycrest was recently selected by Neurological Health Charities of Canada as a national award recipient for innovation and leadership in aging and brain health.  For more information, visit www.baycrest.org.

About Scotiabank
As the Official Bank of the NHL®, NHLPA®, NHL Alumni™ and the CWHL, Scotiabank is very proud to be Canada's Hockey Bank.  Scotiabank has a long tradition of supporting hockey in Canada from local teams and minor hockey associations to professional players and leagues.  Through its partnerships, Scotiabank's hockey programs enrich the communities where Canadians live and work by engaging fans and players in new ways to celebrate our game.  Scotiabank supports the passion and pride Canadians feel for hockey and believes it is fundamental to helping young people learn about teamwork, camaraderie and the spirit of competition. Scotiabank's partnership with Pro Hockey Life provides exclusive in-store and online discounts to the Bank's customers, promotes advice on equipment and enhances the grassroots community programs of both companies.  Scotiabank also has partnerships with the Montreal Canadiens®, the Calgary Flames® whose home arena is the Scotiabank Saddledome, and the Ottawa Senators® whose home arena is Scotiabank Place.  For more information on Scotiabank's hockey programs visit www.scotiahockeyclub.com

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

Backgrounder:
SCOTIABANK PRO-AM TORONTO
Participating NHL Alumni and Canadian Women's Hockey Players

Bill Derlago
Bob Sweeney
Brad Marsh
Bryan Muir
Bryan Trottier
Chris Nilan
Claude Lapointe
Claude Lemieux
Colin Patterson
Craig Muni
Curtis Joseph
Dan Daoust
Danny Gare
Darryl Shannon
Dave Hutchison
Dave Schultz
Dennis Maruk
Dino Ciccarelli
Gary Leeman
Gary Roberts
Gaston Gingras
              Georges Laraque
Greg Gilbert
Greg Hotham
Jack Valiquette
Jason Woolley
Jason Zent
John Anderson
Ken Belanger
Ken Houston
Kevin Maguire
Kraig Nienhuis
Lanny McDonald
Larry Murphy
Laurie Boschman
Lori Dupuis
Lou Franceschetti
Mark Laforest
Mark Napier
Mark Osborne
Marty McSorley
Mike Bullard
              Mike Krushelnyski
Mike Pelyk
Pat Boutette
Pat Ribble
Paul Coffey
Ric Seiling
Rick Middleton
Rob Ray
Rob Zamuner
Ron Flockhart
Ryan Vandenbussche
Sami Jo Small
Steve Webb
Stew Gavin
Todd Harvey
Todd Hlushko
Tony Currie
Troy Crowder
Vicky Sunohara
Wendel Clark




SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships

For further information:

Lorraine Quartaro,
Solutions with Impact
416-433-7232 (cell)
lquartaro@solutionswithimpact.com
            Livy Feldgajer,
Scotiabank Media Communications
416-866-6203 or cell, 647-628-3501
livy_feldgajer@scotiacapital.com

 


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