It'll once again be a great day for hockey when residents from around Pittsburgh convene in Brentwood Borough on Saturday, March 9, for the second annual "Drop the Puck on Cancer" fundraising event that will benefit a number of South Hills families.
"Drop the Puck" for the Duttine family, of Whitehall Borough, and the efforts of the late Tom Cavataio, of Brentwood.
Julie Andrulonis Duttine, who grew up in Brentwood, died from cancer in December 2011, the same month that Tom Cavataio, a hockey enthusiast largely responsible for developing street hockey in Brentwood, also died from the disease.
This year, proceeds from the event will also be shared with the families of four more Brentwood natives who have either died from or are currently battling cancer: Sara Frey, a Brentwood High School sophomore; Kevin Kenny; the late Desanka "Desa" Winovich Dugas; and the late Christy Angelo.
The money will be split up between those families at the discretion of the event's organizers, said Ryan Trimbur, who is in charge of the event's street hockey tournament. Trimbur lives in Whitehall but also grew up in Brentwood.
Trimbur has lessened the amount of teams that can participate in the hockey tournament this year. Only 16 teams will compete for bragging rights as opposed to 20 in 2012. But the tournament will be played with a double-elimination format in 2013 instead of 2012's one-and-done style.
Entry fees will shift from $20 per player to $250 per team, with all games scheduled to take place at either the Brentwood Park basketball courts or the adjacent deck hockey facility. (Both spots are found behind the Brentwood Library.)
The tournament should start at approximately 8 a.m.—around the same time that 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 may also be sold at the basketball courts throughout the tournament. The event should wrap up by 7 p.m.
Items available in the Chinese auction at the first "Drop the Puck" event included several autographed items from Pittsburgh Penguins players and alumni, various lottery baskets, various golf baskets with equipment and gift certificates, an electronics basket, a plasma TV and much more.
The event's organizers have confirmed that a Mario Lemieux-signed jersey will once again be available this year.
The highlight of the food sales is expected to be a pasta dinner at around 5 p.m. Also available should be hot dogs, hamburgers, baked goods and more.
Live music, face-painting and other attractions will be featured at the civic center throughout the tournament.
Every dollar generated from the tournament entry fees, food and drink sales, Chinese auction sales and other donations will benefit the Duttine, Cavataio, Frey, Kenny, Winovich and Angelo families.
"Drop the Puck" is still looking for donors to contribute food and prizes, as well as sponsors to advertise at the event.
To learn more about how to sign up to play in the tournament, how to donate items or how to be a sponsor, visit dropthepuckoncancer.com. You can also check out the PDFs in this article's media gallery (below the video).
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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