Scotty Morrison welcomes NHL alumni and refs to tourney
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | January 30, 2015
Hockey action will fill the Minden arena for three days from Feb. 6-8 for the seventh annual Scotty Morrison Charity Hockey Tournament in support of Community Support Services.
The event is expected to bring in 18 teams from Haliburton County and beyond, as well some recognizable figures from the professional hockey world.
"It really started off very well," said Morrison, who is the chairman of the tournament.
Morrison, a local resident and former NHL referee, recalled how the fundraiser came to be.
"I got a call from Roxanne Casey when she was still working at Community Care [now Community Support Services] and she said, 'We're looking to do a hockey tournament, Scotty, and we would like to use your name.' I just jokingly said, 'That and 25 cents will get you a cup of coffee,'" he laughed.
Over the past six years, the tournament has netted $190,000 for a variety of programs that support seniors and adults with disabilities in Haliburton County. Some of these include Meals On Wheels, Emergency Response Systems and transportation.
Morrison, who also was the president and chairman of the Hockey Hall Fame, called the support from the business community "outstanding." The tournament offers three levels of sponsorship – gold ($500), silver ($250) and bronze ($100).
A big part of its success over the years, said Morrison, is that people realize how important the services the organization provides to the community are.
In addition to providing spectators some entertaining hockey, the tournament will feature a pub night and hot stove on Friday night from 7-9 p.m. Special guests will include former NHL referees Bill McCreary and Ray Scappinello, former NHL players Walt McKechnie and Steve Ludzik, and Moose FM personality Rick Lowes as the master of ceremonies.
A number of high-ticket items will be up for bids in a silent auction that starts on Friday night and closes on Sunday. Morrison recently got his hands on a Team Canada jersey which has been signed by a majority of the gold medal-winning players from the world junior championship. The jersey, which hasn't been worn, will have a set minimum bid. It comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Morrison's son-in-law works for Hockey Canada and was able to acquire the jersey for the fundraiser.
As for the rest of the tournament, Morrison is hopeful that the pub night will draw many visitors to the arena. He also would like to see a large crowd at the Saturday night exhibition game, which will see the high school alumni team take on NHL officials.
"The teams that are playing, there's some very competitive games," he said.
Divisions include Open, 35-plus, 50-plus and Women's.
The tournament comes to a close on Sunday with final games and presentations.
In looking toward the future, Morrison hopes the annual tradition continues for many years to come.
"It's a nice fundraising event now for the [Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation], who direct every cent over to Community Support Services."
Tickets for pub night are $10 per person but admission to the hockey is by donation at the door.
For more information call 705-457-2941 or 705-457-1580.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.