Gold-medal game could be gold rush for fundraiser
Sandie Benitah, ctvtoronto.ca
Published Saturday, February 27, 2010 7:40PM EST
Sunday's Olympic hockey game between Canada and the U.S. will surely bring a gold rush to local bars that are showing the event but one Toronto man is hoping he can use the opportunity to raise funds in support of athletes.
It took local entrepreneur Scott McDonald just 10 days to gather the support of local politicians, notable athletes and the entertainment industry to put together a fundraiser for sports fans across the city.
More than 100 bars across the Greater Toronto Area are participating in what is being called the "Golden Game." Fans who attend these bars will help raise funds for the Right to Play Foundation and the Canadian Athletes Now Fund to help future athletes reach their potential.
A list of participating bars can be found on the Golden Game website.
But the biggest event of the night will take place at The Great Hall, a venue on Queen West between Dovercourt and Ossington Avenue.
Ticket holders will watch the game on a two-storey high theatre screen, be entertained by live bands and have access to neighbourhood hotspots, including The Social, and the Tangerine Art Gallery. The crowd will also have the chance to meet some of Toronto's mayoral candidates, including Rocco Rossi, Giorgio Mammoliti and Sarah Thomson.
"The energy on Queen West is going to be just amazing," McDonald said.
McDonald, who has been an avid hockey player since he was just five years old, used to organize parties for charities while he was a student at McGill University and then afterwards.
Two weeks ago, when he realized he had enough friends over to watch a hockey game to rent out a small venue, he thought a fundraiser for athletes would indeed be a golden opportunity.
"It just made so much sense," he told ctvtoronto.ca in a telephone interview. "Once the charities were on board, everything aligned, everything fell into place."
A large list of sponsors is providing everything from expertise, products and funds to help make the party a success.
Right to Play creates opportunities through sports for children in communities affected by war, poverty and disease. The Canadian Athletes Now Fund solely raises funds and awareness for Canada's athletes who have Olympic goals.
McDonald said playing sports as a kid helps put a person on the "golden path" that is enriched with mentors, structure, discipline and self-esteem.