POTSDAM -- The second annual Droppin’ the Gloves on Cancer women’s hockey tournament, held over Columbus Day weekend at Cheel Arena, raised nearly $11,500 through sponsorships, team fees, raffles, survivor rides, and “Pink Seats” for information programs and support initiatives for women in our area that are battling or have battled breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer.
Over the young history of the tournament, a total of $18,200 has been raised. “This far exceeds our expectations when we started the idea of hosting a women’s hockey tournament. The exciting thing is that the money will stay right here in St. Lawrence County,” reported Julia Rose, tournament co-chair, “because the proceeds are shared between Massena Memorial and Canton-Potsdam Hospitals.” The host team, Roseys Racers, has players that work at both hospitals.
In a visual display of honoring women who have dealt with these cancers, Section 10 of Cheel Arena was set aside for 46 “Pink Seats” this year.
“That is up by ten from last year,” noted Jackie Dow, tournament co-chair. “The Pink Seats are a very emotional sight for both the players and the fans. It’s hard not to think of the strength required of these women while dealing with cancer and being a wife, mother, or friend. It was common to see people walking through the seats and reading the names.”
Three cancer survivors were also honored by family and friends with Zamboni rides. Tamara Phippen Szlamczynski is a breast cancer survivor and 42 year old mother of two young children. Sue Stubbs is a uterine cancer survivor, mother of three, and grandmother of two. Connie Hatch has been a breast cancer survivor for some time and volunteers to help others at the Breast Cancer Support Group at CPH.
Teams competed in two divisions: open and recreational. The recreational division included Roseys Racers I (Brasher Falls), St. Lawrence Cougars (Massena), and Chicks w/Sticks (Rochester) with the St. Lawrence Cougars taking home the trophy. The open division included Roseys Racers II (Brasher Falls), Pink Panthers (Hogansburg/Massena), Wheatfield Blades (Buffalo), and Rochester Edge with the Pink Panthers raising the tournament cup for the second year in a row after a shoot-out.
The games were called by referees that volunteered their time in the name of the cause, and included Scott Rogers, Lee Fregoe, Melanie Waldman, Casey Gerrish, Mel Tomalty, Chris Rose, and Charlie Pitts.
The tournament sponsors include: Clarkson Athletics, NorthCountryNow.com, Victory Promotions, St. Lawrence Gas, Frenchie’s Chevrolet, Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers, Great Northern Printing, Atlantic Testing Laboratories, and Helena General Store.
“We had many comments from players that noted what a nice change it was to go to a tournament and play in honor of other women. This sets the tone of the weekend which is hard to describe but easy to feel,” said Rose.