The tournament is held annually in Lafleur’s memory, and for the past two years has been in support of a travel fund for families dealing with cancer.
“This is our second year putting money into a pot for that [travel fund],” says his wife Velma Alexander. “When Al was sick, he found it was very hard to get any funding to help you out and being up in the north, nothing is here. You’re headed for Edmonton or Vancouver or Calgary.”
23 teams competed, which is the largest turnout so far. Alexander explains that the tournament was switched to the red eye format for exactly that reason: to let as many teams as possible play.
“When we first started it out it was just a regular tournament, and we could only take 14 to 16 teams at a time, and the last year Al was alive in 2008 we had to turn teams away, and that’s when we decided we should go red eye.”
However, Allen passed away in 2009, so the format didn’t change until 2010. The registration fee was also kept low – $350 – to encourage participation in the charity event.
The total donations weren’t fully tallied up by the end of Sunday, but Alexander says whatever was made will be added to what was raised last year. She hopes that the fund will eventually help several cancer patients.