Laurier Lettermen donates $10,000

(Photo by Ryan Hueglin)
(Photo by Ryan Hueglin)

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lettermen Club presented a $10,000 cheque to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation on Friday, following a successful PowderPuff tournament earlier this year.

The 24 registered teams raised the money with registration fees and donations, Laurier Lettermen president Brent Vandenberg explained.

“The tournament has consistently grown over the past five to ten years,” he said, adding that the club didn’t have a goal for the fundraising, but raised significantly more than last year’s donation of $7,000.

Former Lettermen president Andrew Barbati said the highest the club has raised was $11,000 in 2007.

The club, made up of male varsity athletes, does charity work around campus and within the community, including Kids Day – which was also held on Friday – hospital visits and ‘Reading with the Hawks’, but their pride and joy is the yearly PowderPuff tournament.

“It’s a Laurier invention. The PowderPuff tournament has always been here, there’s a lot of schools now that are buying in and want to do their own,” said Barbati. “We’ve done a lot of work sending rules and field sizes out to places from Concordia, last year I sent them out to Ohio, Mac, U of T has a tournament now. It’s really cool to see something that is Laurier … it’s something we’re really proud of.”

According to Tanner Philp, the men’s football representative with Laurier Lettermen, the tournament is a way to get athletes and non-athletes alike together raising money for a good cause. With a steady increase in teams from last year, the trend is clearly catching on.

“It’s something that everyone looks forward to, there’s a buzz around campus … it’s just something that lifts up the whole campus,” explained Barbati.

Cheryl Lewis-Thurab from Ontario’s chapter of the CBCF received the cheque for the second year in a row, and was enthusiastic about the partnership with Lettermen. Over 600 research grants to come up with more innovative treatments for breast cancer have been funded by donations.

“PowderPuff is its own thing now, it’s not ours. If we were to say we weren’t doing it anymore we’d be chased down with pitchforks,” Barbati concluded.

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