Annual fundraiser held at MTS Centre, Larter’s
Two days later, he was introduced to synovial sarcoma. Following months of extensive radiation and chemotherapy sessions, he underwent major surgery in March 2005 on his shoulder, removing the tumour but leaving him with limited use of his left arm, and effectively ending his hockey career.
Through the two premier events – the Sizzlin’ Summer Showdown hockey game and the Sizzlin’ Summer Invitational golf tournament – many NHL stars who played either with, or against, Davison have offered their time to contribute to the worthwhile cause.
Monies raised through the annual Believe in the Goal events support those with cancer and will focus in three major areas;
• Believe in the Goal Blankets – Provided to children and young adults fighting cancer for their comfort during treatment.
• NHL Experience – Because of Todd’s love of hockey, Believe in the Goal Foundation Inc. will provide all-expense paid trips for children with cancer to attend NHL games.
• Capital Fund – Dedicated to special projects to enhance patient care within Manitoba.
The golf tournament, meanwhile, featured golfers teamed up with a pro hockey player for the entire round. Throughout the course there were sponsored activities and signage acknowledging all of those who have made this happen.
After the round, players enjoyed a dinner where awards & prizes are presented. There was also a time for autographs/pictures and mingling with other players from the day. The hockey game, meanwhile, saw a return, albeit brief, of NHL back in Winnipeg.
Many players who either played with or against Davison and have now gone on to pro careers, participated in both the golf tournament and hockey game.
“It’s like the kids have grown up and realize the importance of Todd’s goal,” said Sutherland. “The players have all decided to come back (to Winnipeg) even though they all have crazy summers – we have had no problem getting them back at all. Most of the guys played with Todd in either the WHL or in the Winnipeg (Minor) system.”
Besides the game itself, youngsters also had an opportunity to get autographs of their favourite player.
“When these players see these little boys lining up for autographs, they were like little boys themselves, and they took the time to sign every kids’ shirt and everything that was handed to them,” said Sutherland.
“They were thrilled and they were so good to the kids – we got so much positive feedback from that – it was so important to the kids.”
NHL players who participated in this year’s event included: St. Andrews native Darren Helm and teammate Derek Meech (Detroit Red Wings); Chicago Black Hawks’ Jonathan Toews, Cam Barker and Ben Eager; New Jersey Devil Travis Zajac; Calgary Flames’ Nigel Dawes and Dustin Boyd; Vancouver Canuck Jannik Hansen; Toronto Leaf Colton Orr; Nashville Predator Jordin Tootoo; Columbus Blue Jackets’ Andrew Murray and Derek Dorsett; Los Angeles King Brian Boyle; Tampa Bay Lightning Ryan Craig; and Washington Capital Eric Fehr.
Manitoba Moose players featured were Nolan Baumgartner, Shaun Heshka, Alexandre Bolduc, Zac FitzGerald, Jason Jaffray, Cory Schneider and Mike Keane.
The AHL also had several players participating, including Gord Baldwin (Quad-City Flames), Chet Pickard (Milwaukee Admirals), Dale Weiss (Hartford Wolfpack), Geoff Waugh (Portland Pirates) and Brent Skinner (Chicago Wolves).
Rejean Beachemin, a goaltender with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, who played one game last season with the AHL’s Houston Aeros, also took part.