Hockey Tournament nets $50,000 for cystic fibrosis research

The Make CF History hockey tournament netted its goal of $50,000 in fundraising last weekend.

The Make CF History 3rd annual hockey tournament at the Easton location Chiller netted its goal of $50,000 in fundraising last weekend.

“We won't have a final number for a couple of weeks,” said tournament organizer Chad Eddy, who started the charity fundraiser in 2011, after seeing his two nieces struggle with cystic fibrosis. All the money goes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Ohio. Ninety cents of dollar donated to CFF goes to research to find a cure. “But as of (Monday) the total was over $52,000 gross.”

Eddy is still waiting on the final proceeds from World of Beer donations ($1 for every beer sold), jersey sales and clothing sales, but the bulk of the money is raised by the 16 adult, co-ed leagues themselves.

“This year we asked the players to fundraise, where in prior years we asked for a flat fee per team,” said Eddy, noting the teams were from Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and Michigan—and one special player, Trevor Umlah, from Canada. Umlah is battling CF himself, but stood tall in goal throughout the weekend. “They clearly embraced the opportunity to fund raise for our cause and did such an amazing job.”

Funds also came from unexpected places this year, said Eddy.

“I received an email notification (during the tournament) of a ($200) donation … from a "Iona Flores" - who I had no idea who she was,” said Eddy, who ended up in the lobby talking a lady who was perusing the silent auction and talking to organizers. “She turned to me and asked if I was "Chad" - I of course said yes, and she introduced herself as "Iona Flora".”

Eddy gave her a bug hug as she explained that she heard about the tournament on Facebook and had to drive down to check it out—she has two grandchildren living in Texas who are living with CF. 

“She could not have been more complimentary about our event and how she planned to come every year and support us any way she can,” said Eddy. “It is these experiences and interactions that make this event and all of the effort worth every minute.”

The weekend tournament sported a silent auction, three days of elimination hockey, and a kids’ charity game at the end, where the young players and their families raised nearly $2,000 for CFF. The Columbus Blue Jackets mascot Stinger was in attendance during the public skate, and anyone could come to test their own skills during a stick and puck, or check out the players during a skills competition.

“The support of friends and family, the volunteers, sponsors and the players has been beyond my imagination,” said Eddy.

To date, Eddy has helped raise nearly $80,000 for CF research. He does so with a passion, as two of his nieces are diagnosed with the disease. It’s a familiar story echoed throughout the tournament.

“We had four CF patients with us over the course of Friday night to drop pucks for us in our ceremonial face-offs of our opening games to kick off the event,” said Eddy. “This was really special for us as they really brought to life the reason for our event, and gave everyone a perspective for why we do what we do.”

The winning team in the experienced division, Team Colin from Columbus, dedicated their whole tournament to Colin Mong, the son of team member’s work friend, who is battling the disease. 

The Barons (from Columbus) won the Novice Division and the Puck Hogs (St. Clair, MI) won the Intermediate Division.

“I think the players have a great time and appreciate all of the work we put into the tournament and the weekend as a whole.  Many of them comment that our tournament is ‘first class’ and ‘the best tournament they've ever played in,’ and best of all, they say they ‘can't wait to come back next year,’” said Eddy. “We place a priority on the player experience because without them there is no event.”

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