Oldtimers hockey tourney back on ice
It’s spring, which means the oldtimers are at it again at the Bob Birney Arena in Pointe-Claire, raising money for good causes.
The 44th annual Pointe Claire Oldtimers Tournament has gathered 82 hockey teams and 1,200 players from as far away as Switzerland for seven days of games.
The players range in age from 35 to 80 and are divided into 15 divisions.
The finals run from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The tournament is a go-to event on the oldtimers circuit.
“It’s considered the unofficial Stanley Cup of oldtimers tournaments,” PCOT president Rudy Erfle said. “We have a waiting list for the 35+ division.
“And it’s a bit of a homecoming. A lot of the players were born and raised here and then moved on because of career or family. The tournament gives them a chance to meet up with old friends.”
The tournament’s main raison d’être is fundraising.
Over the past 44 years, the PCOT has raised more than $1 million for charities.
Last year, the tournament raised $93,000, benefiting 52 charities, most of them in the West Island.
This year’s goal is to pierce the $100,000 mark.
“We prefer to make donations to small charities,” Erfle said. “There are so many of them and they are all in desperate need of funding. They rely on us to come through.”
To keep overhead costs down and proceeds up, tournament referees donate their time and 250 volunteers are on hand to help out for the week.
The big off-ice event this year is a live auction, held in the bar area of the arena on Saturday, beginning at 9 p.m.
“We raise a lot of money through beer sales,” Erfle said.
Raffle tickets are also sold. Prizes include two Air Canada tickets to anywhere in North America and two Via Rail tickets.
Silent auction items include signed P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty Canadiens team jerseys.
The Pointe-Claire Oldtim
ers Tournament is at the Bob Birnie Arena, 96 Douglas Shand Ave., in Pointe-Claire until Sunday. For schedule details, visit www.pcot.ca/tournament.