UPDATE: Click here to see some of the Chinese auction prizes available.
UPDATE: Tournament bracket added in the media gallery found toward the right side of this page.
It'll be a great day for hockey when residents from around Pittsburgh convene in Brentwood Borough on Saturday, Feb. 25, for a "Drop the Puck on Cancer" fundraising event that will benefit the Duttine family, of Whitehall Borough, and the efforts of the late Tom Cavataio, of Brentwood.
Over 200 players have donated $20 each to make up 20 teams that will play a single-elimination street hockey tournament on Feb. 25 at the Brentwood Park basketball courts off of Brownsville Road (behind the Brentwood Library). The tournament starts at 8:30 a.m.—about a half-hour after food, drinks and tickets for a Chinese auction go on sale at the nearby Brentwood Civic Center (above Brentwood's municipal swimming pool). Food and drinks will also be sold at the basketball courts throughout the tournament. The event should wrap up by 7 p.m.
The items available in the Chinese auction will include a Mario Lemieux-signed jersey and stick, a James Neal-signed jersey, a helmet signed by 19 current Pittsburgh Penguins players, various lottery baskets, various golf baskets with equipment and gift certificates, an electronics basket, a plasma TV and much more.
Among the food available will be hot dogs, hamburgers, baked goods and more.
Every dollar generated from tournament entry fees, food and drink sales, Chinese auction sales and other donations will benefit the Duttine-Cavataio Memorial Fund, named in honor of Julie (Andrulonis) Duttine and Tom Cavataio.
Cancer never hits a family easily, but in the case of Whitehall's Duttines, the disease has been especially rough. Jaden Duttine, son of Julie and Joseph, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2. Jaden has since turned 4 and is doing better, but he is still not out of the woods.
And mother Julie, at the age of 36, who fought cancer alongside her son for two years and for much longer overall, died from the disease in December 2011.
Joseph, Jaden and Jaden's older brother, Joey, continue to live on, but battling cancer on two fronts has been very costly for the family.
Cavataio, a highly popular Brentwood man and a hockey enthusiast largely responsible for developing street hockey in Brentwood, also died in December at the age of 45. Cavataio was an active supporter of all things Brentwood and of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. He suffered from Crohn's disease most of his life.
The Duttine-Cavataio Memorial Fund will provide the Duttine family with money to help continue to fight cancer. It will also allow Cavataio's contributions to the fight against Crohn's disease to live on in his absence.
Feb. 25's hockey tournament will feature mostly men aged 18 to 40, but some players, like Julie Duttine's father, Bill Andrulonis Sr., are in their 60s.
"He's on my team," said Ryan Trimbur, one of the event's biggest organizers. Trimbur, who lives in Whitehall, grew up in Brentwood and graduated from Brentwood High School in 1994.
"That's the unique thing about this event," Trimbur said, pointing out the large age range. "We have a team that signed up that graduated (from Brentwood High) in 2006, and we have a team whose captain graduated in 1978."
The event is finished accepting hockey players, but donations, such as cash and auction items, will continue to be accepted. Those willing to volunteer at the event will also be put to good use. Contact Trimbur at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to help.
Live music, face-painting and other attractions will be featured at the civic center throughout the tournament.
There is no cost to watch the games. Each game (two 13-minute halves with a running clock) will be played four-on-four with two goalies. Ties will be broken with NHL shootout rules. Each game will feature a three-minute intermission while the teams switch ends.
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