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More than 200 teams play beach volleyball for childhood cancer research, new SickKids hospital
The volleyball courts at Woodbine Beach were packed with players on Saturday for the 25th annual SickKids Heatwave volleyball tournament.
The event, which features more than 200 teams, raised money for research into childhood cancer and for a new hospital for SickKids.
“We really are just the number one children’s hospital in Canada,” said Shea Argue, the impact ambassador for the SickKids Foundation. “It’s awesome to just raise funds for that, to help the families, and to help the kids who would like to be here on a day like this, but can’t.”
Under the hot sun, and with a bit of a lake breeze, corporate teams competed for the good cause.
Carlo Rammouz is part of team “Modern Niagara.” It is her sixth year participating in the SickKids Heatwave volleyball tournament.
“We’ve got to get rid of cancer and it’s for a great cause.”
His colleague Mike Winters said he’s taking part this year because of people like Rammouz, who walked around the office talking about the event.
“Our company is about teamwork and working together and this is a great example of that,” said Winters.
The “Modern Niagara” team raised more than $10,000, which their company matched.
That kind of support is what keeps tournament organizer Rosanne O’Neill coming back year after year.
O’Neill started this event 25 years ago and never dreamed it would turn into such a summertime tradition in Toronto.
“SickKids is such an amazing cause, and once you’re involved I don’t think you could ever leave. I think you’re in there for life.”
O’Neill added that seeing the generosity of employees and corporations is incredible.
“Toronto has the most amazing companies. They’ve all come out here to support SickKids. They have been raising tons of money online. And they are all true believers of SickKids.”
The tournament and other events under the Heatwave banner have raised almost $4.5 million. About 75 per cent of the money goes to childhood cancer research, while the other 25 per cent will help the foundation reach its $1.5 billion goal to build a new hospital.
There’s more action set for Sunday at Woodbine Beach, including a youth event. .