Thomas (left) and Steven (right) Stadey with hockey legend Bobby Orr. Thomas was coached by Orr in the Pandora Intercity Summer Classic held in 2016 for which the brothers raised $13,017 for the Northern Cancer Fund.
By Heather Vita - September 27, 2017
For two years in a row – starting in 2016 – Thomas and Steven Stadey set their sights on being a part of #TeamStaal during the Pandora Intercity Summer Classic (2016) and Fountain Tire Summer Classic (2017) events as part of the Staal Foundation Open, presented by Tbaytel.
The opportunity to play road hockey with the Staals, along with multiple other celebrities was one the young hockey players from Marathon just couldn’t miss. Knowing they’d have to work hard to fundraise for a spot on the team, in 2016, they worked together, and raised an incredible $13,017 for the Northern Cancer Fund. The top 3 fundraisers that year were guaranteed spots on TeamStaal, and with over $6,000 raised each, both Thomas and Steven had a chance to play in the epic road hockey game.
Both boys play defence for the Marathon Mercs PeeWee Team and were excited for a chance to take their skills to the pavement out at Whitewater Golf Course and join four other kids from across the Northwest who’d also raised money to support exceptional cancer care. Altogether, all the contestants in 2016 brought in $44,181!
Thomas recalled that it was a pretty special experience, especially with his team being coached to a win by Head Coach Bobby Orr. For Steven, he enjoyed scoring on St. Louis Blues goaltender Carter Hutton. They also both had the chance to meet the Staals and described them as ‘cool and very down to earth’.
Fast forward to 2017 and the contest opened up again – this time for the chance to play in the Fountain Tire Summer Classic. The brothers’ love of hockey and of fundraising motivated them to enter once again. But this time, they had a twist. They decided early on, with the support of event organizers, to forego a Top 3 spot should their fundraising total get them there. The brothers wanted to ensure that they supported other kids across the region – especially their home town friend Jadan Desormeaux – to have a chance to play. However, due to the random draw that chose two extra spots from all fundraisers, Steven got the chance to play again this year – and he was happy to do so.
Thomas (left) and Steven (right) got to meet many hockey celebrities, including Marc Staal, during their time at the Pandora Intercity Summer Classic in 2016 when both boys played on TeamStaal thanks to their fundraising efforts.
Their family travelled to Thunder Bay for the event, which took place on a beautiful July day. Once again, the brothers had a chance to meet Bobby Orr – a hockey legend – along with multiple other hockey celebrities including the Staals, Grant Fuhr, and Carter Hutton. They joined other kids who’d once again fundraised for the Northern Cancer Fund and brought in another unbelievable total of $32,576. While the brothers weren’t one of the Top 3 fundraisers – their combined total of $5,520 was still a very significant amount and one that exceeded their goal of $5,000.
Following the event they recalled what had made them so successful in their fundraising. Mother Debbie McDougall commented that the tried-and-true fundraising method of going door-to-door and asking for pledges was very successful for them. “Marathon’s a small town and very supportive, especially of our youth. The boys worked hard and, between them and Jadan, they knocked on every door I think!”
They also added some fun to their fundraising efforts this year by setting some goals and then taking action when they were achieved. Once they hit $1,000, Thomas and Steven dyed their hair. At $3,000 the boys had designs shaved into their hair. And at $5,000 Debbie had her hair cut and a neighbour actually let them shave his head! They also set up lemonade stands at soccer, held online yard sales of old toys/books/sports equipment and used social media to solicit donations.
“It was even more meaningful to us this year,” said Debbie. “It really was about the fundraising because the boys already had the opportunity to be part of the team last year.” Both boys were eager to recommend the experience to other kids because of the chance to do something really good for the community and meet lots of hockey celebrities. They both also said that the entire experience was ‘lots of fun’.
Altogether contestants in the running for TeamStaal spots in the Pandora Intercity Summer Classic and Fountain Tire Summer Classic raised a total of $76,757 for the Northern Cancer Fund to support exceptional cancer care in Northwestern Ontario. More information about 2018 events like the Summer Classic will be shared in advance of the 2018 Staal Foundation Open, presented by Tbaytel.