Seven long months of event planning, organizing and recruiting finally paid off Wednesday as Andrew Barbati, the acting president of Laurier Lettermen, handed over a $7,000-donation to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF).
The donation came after Lettermen hosted two successful PowderPuff tournaments, which occurred Jan. 24-25 and March 8-9 of this year.
Barbati was ecstatic to see the results of fundraiser that took almost an entire school year’s worth of planning.
“The support from the school and everyone else has been phenomenal,” Barbati said. “I’m just glad to finally be handing over the money and doing exactly what we set out to do back in October.”
Combined, the two tournaments raised $7,000 for the CBCF.
Cheryl Lewis-Thurab, the community development officer of the CBCF, accepted the cheque on behalf of the foundation.
“It is a very unique event,” Lewis-Thurab explained. “Laurier Lettermen has been having events for years now [and] getting a cheque for $7,000 means a lot to us.”
“This really the crown jewel of our year,” Barbati said. “PowderPuff is what pulls all the volunteers we can get.”
Lewis-Thurab was deeply moved by the amount of work and planning that went into the two tournaments. “It’s amazing for students to take time out of their school day to help us raise these funds,” she said.
Since October, executives of Laurier Lettermen had organized every possible aspect for their tournaments. Coaches, referees, players, venue booking and recruiting were all carefully considered in making the events a success.
“We’re happy to accept any donation,” Lewis-Thurab continued. “The amount doesn’t really matter to us, what matters is that people are putting out their efforts.
“And for me, that really means a lot,” she smiled.
Lewis-Thurab also emphasized that she would like the CBCF to get involved earlier on in the process of PowderPuff. Her role as the community events officers is to support events during their entire process and attend the events as they occur.
“I would like to be involved beforehand in supporting them in a bigger way that we get to track exactly how [their] event is run,” she said.
As for Lettermen, who have successfully operated PowderPuff since 1997, Barbati anticipates that the tournament can only grow larger.
Five years ago, when Barbati first volunteered with Lettermen, the tournaments only had 15 teams participating and accommodated a few neighboring schools.
Today, the tournaments have nearly doubled in size and attract schools as far as Sault St. Marie, Ottawa, and Kingston.
“PowderPuff is definitely growing,” Barbati said. “Its great to see something catch on… For women, it’s another sport to play, and it’s also raising money for the CBCF.”