HHHS cancels Scotty Morrison tourney
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | January 14, 2016
After seven successful years, the Scotty Morrison Charity Hockey Tournament has been cancelled.
The announcement was made by the Haliburton Health Services Foundation shortly after the new year. “What you have to understand is that the foundation has a staff of two and we are also undertaking three other major fundraising events,” said Peter Oyler, the foundation chairman.
“I personally couldn’t ask my staff to run another event without the support of the volunteers from the previous committee, who we asked, because we simply can’t do it without their assistance.”
Even though they attempted to recruit, a lack of volunteers was one of the reasons why the event was cancelled, Oyler said.
The absence of a major sponsor also made things increasingly difficult, he said, adding the foundation’s staff tried valiantly to secure the sponsor who had supported the foundation for several years.
Oyler would not specify the individual’s name or business, but said calls to the individual’s agent were not returned.
“Right there, you’re in a bit of trouble if you can’t get a major sponsor,” he said.
The last obstacle for the foundation was a scheduling issue which caused Mark Dennys, the tournament’s long-time bartender, to back out the last second. Oyler said the foundation could not find a replacement.
Planning for the event began in September 2015.
“We felt six months would be ample time to secure the necessary parties to make this tournament happen,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is to blame for its cancellation, on the foundation’s part or on the part of the parties that simply weren’t able to come to the table this year,” he said.
The charity tournament raises money for support services in the community, like Meals on Wheels, palliative care, social recreation, and many others. The foundation became the fundraising agency for the event last year. Community Support Services was the driving force behind the event before 2015. Since the tournament’s inception, about $200,000 has been raised.
Scotty Morrison could not be reached for comment.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.