Current and former members of the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers met in Red Deer to play in the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre’s Battle of Alberta Charity Golf Tournament.
The third edition of the annual event was held at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club on Wednesday. A reception was held the previous day, where attendees could bid on which players they wanted on their team.
A total of 30 players – 15 representing each organization – participated in the event, including legends like Grant Fuhr and Lanny McDonald, and current NHLers such as Dillon Dube and Stuart Skinner.
More than $770,000 was raised for the CACAC during the reception on Tuesday night.
“Both the Oilers and Flames organizations are so good to be bringing their players to this,” said Mark Jones, CEO of the centre.
The money raised will help support the CACAC and the Centre of Excellence, which is nearing completion.
“It truly does take a village to raise a child and our village is a strong one. We’re impacted by a great community doing great things,” he said.
Jones said the expectation is that the CACAC, along with the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and Move Your Mood Studio, will move into the Centre of Excellence just after the Labour Day long weekend. Alberta Health Services will move in later this year, he added.
Lanny McDonald, who was a member of the Flames from 1981-1989, has been participating in the Battle of Alberta Charity Golf Tournament since its inception.
“It’s such a great cause. I’m so proud of all of the organizing that goes into this and on top of that you can have fun. Yes, it’s the Battle of Alberta, but here that battle is all about making a difference in other people’s lives right now,” McDonald told The Advocate.
Louie DeBrusk, who played on the Oilers from 1991-1997, was playing in his second Battle of Alberta Charity Golf Tournament.
“To build the Centre of Excellence, it’s remarkable,” said DeBrusk.
“We got a tour of it yesterday – Sheldon Kennedy kind of took us through the tour and talked about how all of those things in one building to combine the services helps with the betterment of children. It’s the first of its kind, but it won’t be the last.”
DeBrusk, who is familiar with Red Deer as his son – current Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk – played 37 games for the Rebels in 2015-16, was matched up against McDonald during the tournament.
“Even though it’s the Battle of Alberta, Calgary vs. Edmonton, there’s such a respect between the athletes from years of playing against each other and from hearing the stories of the ones who have played before,” DeBrusk said.
For more information on the CACAC and the Centre of Excellence, visit www.centralalbertacac.ca.