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(Posted 9:30 a.m., March 29)
Bradley Cup hockey tournament raises over $15K for charity

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Charles Boyer shows off the Bradley Cup to his son Gio after Orléans downed Cumberland 5-2 in the tournament final. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Navan Memorial Arena was a beehive of activity on Saturday, March 24 as six senior men’s hockey teams from Cumberland, Vars, Sarsfield, Hammond, Orléans and Navan competed in the third annual Bradley Cup hockey tournament while raising over $15,000 for charity.

The winner of this year's tournament was the team from Orléans, which upset the two-time defending champions from Cumberland 5-2 in the final on goals from Charles Boyer (2), Scott Pommerville, Max Pilon and Adam Fedor.

Orléans finished the tournament undefeated on their way to hoisting the 93-year-old Bradley Cup over their heads. After dethroning Cumberland in the final, Orléans captain Will Boyer expressed the feelings of his teammates.

“It feels good to finally bring the Cup back to Orléans where it should be,” said a jubilant Boyer.

In between games and even during the games, supporters of the players and other members of the public enjoyed food made by members of the Navan Lions Club which is the main beneficiary of the tournament. More than $15,000 was raised this year through a combination of sponsorships and donations.

According to Lions Club member David Gratton, the money raised will be used to help fund a variety of charities, most notably the Hannah Billings Fund which disperses money to families deal-ing with medical emergencies.

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year if not the biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Gratton. “It’s become a really big deal.”

Tournament organizer Frank Boyer said the success of this year’s event was largely due to businesses like Scotiabank which contributed $5,000 to the cause as a new presenting sponsor.

Members of the Orléans team pose for a group photo after winning the Bradley Cup Charity Hockey Tournament. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Other sponsors like ML Bradley Ltd., MVC Interior Systems Inc. and Cumberland councillor Stephen Blais contributed $1,000 each. And then there’s the individual donations, 50/50 draw, and silent auction.

The players purchase the ice time themselves, which is one of the big-gest expenses of the tournament.

“It’s a really fun tournament for a really great cause,” says Will Boyer. “The format is awesome. A lot of people come out so it’s a lot of fun and a lot of the guys know each other so it builds camaraderie.”

One of the highlights of the tournament is the alumni game which is contested between former players from Navan and Cumberland.

The tournament is a throwback to the earliest days of the Cup when teams from the various villages in the former municipality of Cumberland would challenge each other for the pewter trophy.

The Bradley Cup was established in 1926 by general store owner John Thomas Bradley. The first team to win the trophy was from Navan. They beat the challengers from Vars 1-0 in double overtime.

The Cup exchanged hands several times before play was suspended during the Second World War. It was revived in 1946 and continued on until 1959 when it was retired indefinitely.

It wasn’t until 2016 that John Thomas’ great-grandson and J.T. Bradley’s Country Convenience Store owner John Bradley dusted the old mug off and put it up for grabs in the first charity tournament which marked the 90th anniversary of the first challenge series.

“It’s a really great event and I think it lives up to the spirit of what my great-grandfather would have wanted,” says Bradley. “He was a big community guy and this has become a major community event.”

All told, the tournament has raised over $35,000 in three years.

Among the many charities that have benefited from the tournament in the past include the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre, the Shepherds of Good Hope, the Lions summer camps program and the Lions International vision program.

The Lions Welfare Fund supports about 20 organizations and programs in all, says Gratton.

Frank Boyer says he intends to keep organizing the tournament “forever”.

“We’re going to keep rolling,” says Boyer. “We can’t stop now.”

For more information about the Hannah Billings Fund visit www.navanlions.ca and click the link to Special Funds and Bursaries.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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