FERGUS – Over 300 children and youth participated in the McGinn Brothers Big Game ball hockey tourney on Aug. 16.
This year saw an additional eight teams register for the event held at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex.
The goal of the event is to raise funds for youth services organization Big Brothers Big Sisters Centre Wellington (BBBSCW) and the building of the organization’s new home in a community hub, in a portion of the old Target building off Highway 6.
At press time, the event had raised over $50,000 through team and corporate donations according to event organizer and founder of Pro Sports Concierge Allan Boynton.
This year youth team pledges totalled over $22,000.
RBC Bank also continued its two-year $60,000 donation to BBBSCW which it began last year.
BBBSCW executive director Kristen Drexler told the Advertiser the event has also helped raise awareness for the organization.
“I think first and foremost, this is a very loud event. You can’t go anywhere in this community without knowing that this is what is happening today so it caught people’s attention and it had people asking how do we get involved,” said Drexler.
Boynton said he plans to continue the Big Game as an annual event to support BBSCW.
“…Big Brothers Big Sisters Centre Wellington needs half-a-million dollars to build this facility and I have committed to make sure that we are going to get there whether we do this event for the next 10 years if that’s how long it takes,” said Boynton.
The event gives local youth the chance to play hockey and meet some NHL players.
It was the first time taking part in the tourney for Hudson Karn, 11, who played on the U12 Edge Realty team.
Karn said he enjoyed how fun the tournament was “and that everyone gets to play together.”
In the early afternoon the ‘Big Game’ saw participating NHL hockey players at the the tournament play against youth from different divisions.
“It was great,” said centerman for the St. Louis Blues Ryan O’Reilly of the ‘Big Game’.
“Obviously a great turnout for the second year of it. It’s amazing to see the people and the community come out and support it,” he added.
The success of the event continues to mean a lot to the McGinn family according to Brock McGinn, who currently plays left wing for the Carolina Hurricanes.
“It’s special to us and it is special to this community and just seeing where all of the money goes and benefits the kids – it’s really nice to see,” said McGinn.