There is something undoubtedly moving about the ability for communities to come together in a creative way to fight diseases that affect millions of people, diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Just think of some of the charitable events that have been truly successful in fundraising and building awareness, events like LiveAid, for example, or Comic Relief or the Toronto Rocks benefit concert in 2003.
In Canada, nothing quite tops the popularity of hockey, which also makes the sport a perfect charitable fundraising vehicle. That’s something that Toronto-based Baycrest Health Sciences understood roughly nine years ago. Baycrest is a research institute affiliated with the University of Toronto that focuses on providing a comprehensive system of care for aging patients and adding to the bank of research knowledge on cognitive neuroscience conditions like Alzheimer’s.
In 2006, Baycrest teamed up with Scotiabank to begin an annual charity hockey tournament in Toronto. The tournament, called the Scotiabank Baycrest Pro-Am Tournament, raises funds to support Alzheimer’s research. It lasts three days and allows amateurs to play with and against a host of NHL pros.
Sounds like a lot of fun – and it is. In fact, since the Scotiabank Baycrest Tournament began in 2006, the event has raised more than $25 million toward finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, with 2014’s event bringing together 44 NHL pros and more than 500 hockey fans.
The tournament is a favorite of plenty of Torontonians, and it also happens to be a favorite of Richard Crenian, who’s consistently been a top fundraiser for the event. In 2013, Richard Crenian, who is President and founder of ReDev Properties Ltd., garnered over $52,000 in pledges for the tournament, making him the top fundraiser for that year.
That’s worthy of recognition. But, the question is what’s inspired Richard Crenian to be such a consistent and active contributor to the Scotiabank Tournament.
If you speak to Crenian for any amount of time, you will notice pretty shortly that he has an unflagging passion for hockey, regardless if it’s amateur or pro. That certainly plays a role in his contribution to the tournament. However, if you dig a little deeper, you will also find a man who personally and genuinely cares about Alzheimer’s and finding a cure for the disease. And you will find a man who’s passionately committed to using his energy and passion for hockey to help in the fight against the disease.
“There’s no doubt that I’m a big fan of hockey,” Richard Crenian chuckles. “But, I’m also passionate in using the sport to raise funds toward Alzheimer’s research. That’s why I regularly support the Scotiabank Tournament.”
Richard Crenian continues, “I have so much fun each year I participate in the tournament, and the fact that the tournament continues to grow and raise a larger amount of money for Alzheimer’s [research] makes me incredibly proud.”
For right now, neither a definite cause nor a cure for Alzheimer’s is known, which makes research for the disease all the more imperative. Richard Crenian adds, “What The Alzheimer Society of British Columbia is doing as far as supporting and educating those who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s is very special. But, more needs to be done.”
The Scotiabank Baycrest Pro-Am Tournament is held in May each year and next year, the tournament will be held from April 30 to May 2, 2015 with Al Iafrate, Stephane Richer and Scott Thornton, among others, set to participate.
Click here if you would like more information on how to get involved or if you would like to donate.
Hockey photos from the Scotiabank Baycrest Pro-Am Website
Guest Author Bio
Richard Crenian is the founder and President of ReDev Properties Ltd., a Canadian commercial real estate management company. Having founded several businesses throughout his career, Richard has been guided by the entrepreneurial spirit for most of his life. Richard has also been inspired by the opportunity to serve his community, supporting the Daily Food Bank, Sunny Brook Hospital Toronto, and his local church, among other organizations.