Leap Towards A Cure Tourney Raises $15k to Fight Cancer

Posted August 15, 2011

Even though they lost in the Division 2 Championship Game, Victorious Secret won marks for their name, jerseys, and attitude. Photo by Christy Fox.

Hi, I’m Abram Fox.  You may remember me from such Capitals Outsider blog posts as How to Subtly Incorporate the Caps Into a Wedding and Second Annual Leap Towards A Cure Tournament in Laurel.  This time, Caps Outsider has given me a bully pulpit to trumpet the great success of the Second Annual Leap Towards A Cure presented by Outback Steakhouse, Laurel, MD.

Even though national media might disagree, there’s no question that the D.C. area is a hockey hotbed.  DMV residents watch hockey, love hockey, play hockey, and support hockey.  On the weekend of August 5-7, The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD played host to 261 hockey players and several hundred guests who all gathered to play some puck and raise money for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

The whole shebang, which also included a family friendly Community Festival on Saturday, August 6, was held in honor of a longtime art teacher Andrea “Froggy” Henderson, who also sponsored the varsity hockey team at Eleanor Roosevelt High School and passed away from complications from her struggle with breast cancer last April.

All told, Leap Towards A Cure raised approximately $15,000 for the Kimmel Center.  That’s double last year’s donation of $7,100, and proof that even in this economy the local hockey community still supports great causes.

In total, 20 teams from Maryland, D.C., and New York faced off in three divisions of play.  The Hudson Hawks, a New York City-based squad captained by a local transplant/ERHS Ice Raiders alumnus, took home the Division 2 championship, while homegrown teams Gamblers and Avalanche were victorious in the Division 1 and Division 3 championship games, respectively.

One of the highlights of the weekend – beyond all the great tournament games, of course – was an NHL-style Skills Competition on Saturday that featured representatives from most of the teams participating in Hardest Shot, Most Accurate Shot, Fastest Skater, and Quick Draw (faceoffs) competitions.  Several new members of the Red Rockers showed up to cheer on the competitors and we even put them to work recording stats.  They had fun, and so did all the participants and fans.  Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen two goalies challenge each other in an accuracy shooting contest.

He even hit a target, which is more than several other competitors can say. Photo by Jason Harab.

One of the big draws at the Skills Competition was the Lucky Shot.  Three raffle winners got the chance to shoot one puck the length of the ice to win a brand new Chevrolet Cruze donated by Fox Chevrolet of Laurel.

Two of the Red Rockers display the target for the Lucky Shot. Can you see the puck-sized hole at the bottom? Now imagine trying to hit that spot from 178 feet away. Photo by Ana Ruta.

Sure he missed it, but at least his form was good. Photo by Ana Ruta.

The Second Annual Leap Towards A Cure presented by Outback Steakhouse, Laurel, MD couldn’t have been a success without the help of the entire local hockey community – adult league players from The Gardens Ice House, the Red Rockers, and numerous volunteers (including Capitals Outsider’s contributors Ben Sumner and M. Richter).  Capitals fans do a great job of supporting great causes, and co-organizer Jason Harab and I are glad that so many people have supported Leap Towards A Cure.

Next year’s Leap Towards A Cure will be held on August 3-5 at the Gardens.  If you want to receive information about next year’s event as it becomes available, please sign up at http://andreahendersonmemorialfund.com/leaptowardsacure/register.html.  If you are interested in donating, you can visit http://andreahendersonmemorialfund.com/donate.html.  The Andrea Henderson Memorial Fund, which operates LTAC, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax-deductible.