This coming August, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons will play an exhibition game against the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League at the Casman Centre.
While the event is notable for being the first-ever meeting between the two Junior A clubs, the game will also be for charity.
The game will benefit the local cancer society as well as the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Bursary. The game will honour Schwartz’s memory and help raise awareness for acute myeloid leukaemia, through a bone marrow swab drive that will be set up on site.
Schwartz is the sister of St. Louis Blues draft pick Jaden Schwartz and a notable hockey player herself. She got a full scholarship to play for the Yale Bulldogs hockey team after a strong minor hockey career.
She was diagnosed with leukaemia in her junior year at Yale and bone marrow drives were set at Yale to help find a donor.
While a match was not found for Mandi, the drives did find matches for several others who need a bone marrow transplant. The charity game will coincide with check swabs to add to bone marrow registry as part of the OneMatch campaign.
“We’re running somewhat of tailgate barbecue prior to the event,” said Brett Campbell, who is organizing the event alongside Christos Kalogirou.
“Basically alongside the barbecue with the OneMatch organization, we’ll be running a swab station so people can get their cheeks swabbed and maybe save someone’s life.”
Campbell and Kologirou met with the Schwartz family in Saskatchewan before planning the event. The two are alumni of the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame high school — the same school Mandi went to before Yale — and they expect other former hounds will be in attendance.
While no names have been confirmed, the organizers indicated that there will likely be a few big name NHL stars in attendance. The game will feature the exhibition teams from next year’s training camps for the Barons and Hounds, but alumni from both teams could be involved in some capacity as well.
Alongside the event there will be a silent auction featuring NHL memorabilia as well gift packages, with all proceeds going to charity. The group is seeking partners for the event, so if your company would like to be involved visit www.dreamadream17.com for sponsorship opportunities.
The website states that the date for the event is Aug. 17, but that date is subject to change.(Fort MacMurray Today)