The skies were cloudy but the rain held off on Monday at the Devil’s Pulpit Golf Association in Caledon, Ont., making for a great day on the links as 124 members of the OHL community got together at the 2nd Annual OHL Alumni Association Golf Classic.
Monday’s turnout doubled the total of 62 golfers that attended the inaugural event last June at Piper’s Heath Golf Club in Hornby, Ont and raised money towards a good cause as over $5,000 was donated to the Gudbranson Grant for Stem Cell Research.
The Gudbranson family was on hand to receive a donation of $5,000 that will go towards raising awareness and funding for Stem Cell Research. An additional sum will be donated to the cause after the final fundraising tally for the event has been calculated.
A graduate of the Kingston Frontenacs (2008-11) who now plays for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, Erik Gudbranson and younger brother Alex, who played for the Frontenacs and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds from 2010-14, have been active in supporting the cause of their younger brother Dennis who was diagnosed with AML Leukaemia in 2002.
After being matched to a generous donor, Dennis received a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
“I’m extremely honoured to have the opportunity to support the Gudbranson Foundation and I’m proud of the effort of the alumni, particularly OHL Director of Recruitment Daniel Broussard for stepping up and pulling this together,” said OHL Alumni Association President Justin Robinson. “It’s an honour to be a part of this tremendous group of individuals that want to give back.”
Graduates young and old attended the event in addition to coaches, general managers, officials and other members of the OHL community.
“This is really great, I’ve run into some old coaches, referees, teammates and opponents that you don’t really ever get a chance to get to know,” said two-time London Knights OHL champion Scott Harrington who now plays for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
“A lot of these guys I haven’t seen since I played in the OHL, so it’s funny to run into each other and get a chance to catch up.”
Peterborough Petes head coach Jody Hull, a Petes playing graduate (1985-88) and 14-year NHL veteran echoed those sentiments as he took some swings alongside now-fellow graduates Steven Lorentz and Kyle Jenkins, members of the 2016-17 East Division champion Petes squad.
“The OHL was a starting ground for myself back in 1985 and provides some of the most important years of a player’s life,” he said. “They go in as boys and leave as men and the roots are really grounded.
“Our league has done great things for these kids and it’s great to see that they still want to be a part of the community.”
The Erie Otters trio of Dylan Strome, Darren Raddysh and Warren Foegele added another championship next to their 2016-17 OHL crown, scoring a first place finish over 18 holes on Monday.
In other contests, former London Knights and Oshawa Generals forward Kris Belan (2004-07) won the longest drive competition while Saginaw Spirit assistant coach Chris Lazary won the closest to the pin contest.
Between the 2017 Golf Classic, last year’s inaugural tournament, and October’s Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer, Alumni Association events have now raised over $20,000 for worthy causes in addition to expanding networking opportunities for OHL grads.
The OHL Alumni Association:
The OHL Alumni Association is a member focused organization with the primary function of forming a global hockey based community directed towards strengthening and sustaining the connection and relationship between alumni, the league, and current players.
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