MARQUETTE — Hockey players of all ages are getting ready for a three-day tournament in just two weeks. But this tournament is about more than just having a good time on the ice; it’s about contributing to a good cause.
It’s the fourth annual Stick it to Cancer hockey tournament in Marquette. On February 21, 22, and 23, teams will face off with the goal of raising funds to support cancer patients.
Members of the community, like event organizer Barbara Salmela, have been partnering with Cancer Care of Marquette County since 2017 to put on this fun event that can have an incredible impact on a child battling cancer.
“Most everybody has someone in their family that cancer has affected,” said Salmela. “Last year we raised between $6,000–$8,000, and we split that 50/50 with Cancer Care of Marquette County and with the local recipients. 98% of our proceeds go directly back to patient care.”
Two local young people who have been diagnosed with cancer will be the beneficiaries of the 2020 Stick it to Cancer tournament. Something extra special this year is that the 2017 beneficiary, Caleb Bell, will be in attendance, and he’ll even be hitting the ice with one of the teams.
“I just can’t understand why kids have to go through cancer,” said Salmela. “Caleb, the original recipient, is cancer–free now, and he’s doing wonderfully. And he is actually playing on one of the teams this year, so it’ll be kind of exciting to see him back out on the ice helping the cause.”
This is the first year the hockey tournament will be held on an outdoor rink, and organizers are excited about the new location. More details on the 2020 Stick it to Cancer tournament are available here.