Humbled once again

NHL '94 Tournament

On a dreary Sunday night, when fans across the Philadelphia area may very well have preferred to stay home and celebrate the Flyers’ series-clinching victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, over 30 people drove out to Bensalem to help support the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

Among the people who made their way out to Play2 at the Parx Casino in the torrential downpour were a number of familiar faces from the Pub Quiz fundraiser, some new friends, and hockey’s most popular anonymous blogger, Eklund.

One person stood out in particular, though.

Marc Siciliano, who originally came up with the idea to host this tournament and co-hosted the event with Flyers Faithful, drove all the way down from Connecticut armed with little more than a laptop and a Pat Verbeek Whalers shirsey to take control of running the actual fundraiser before packing back up around midnight and making the long trek back to New England.

Marc ran the draft while I was still stuck in traffic, got the consoles set up and ready to go, kept a mindful watch on the schedule, and masterfully coordinated and executed a fairly complex tournament.

His was not an easy task. Some older Sega Genesis Consoles malfunctioned. The tournament started and ran late. If anything had the potential to misfire, it almost certainly did but that did not deter Marc, who had nothing to gain from his participation in this event.

He never even had the chance to sit down at a television and play a single game of NHL ’94. As far as he was concerned, though, that was irrelevant. He just wanted to help.

Marc’s selflessness was emblematic of those who had a hand in this tournament in any way, whether it be the sponsors who donated money or time, the businesses who offered discounted prices or free items to give away or raffle off at the event and, of course, the tournament participants themselves.

The 26 people who participated in this tournament reached deep into their pockets, first to register for this event, then to be a part of the silent auction for draft position (also Marc’s idea), and finally to participate in the raffle.

There was no driving force greater than good will that brought people out to the fundraiser.

People certainly did not come out to win money. A quick search on eBay or Amazon would show that a Sega Genesis and a copy of NHL ’94 typically costs less than the fee to participate and the amount people donated on top of that made any potential prize money nebulous at best.

Along with the money donated by friends and family members that tagged along — as well as spectators like Joshua Janet, who live Tweeted a majority of the tournament — we were able to raise $1,200 for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

That total vastly surpasses the $887 we raised at the Pub Quiz back in March and with only a fraction of the participants.

I am pleased to say that, in the two events we have hosted over the last two months, we have been able to raise $2087 for ESYHF.

Over the next two months, we hope to blow that total out of the water with the money we anticipate raising at our upcoming events, a Roller Hockey Tournament and a soon-to-be-announced Ice Hockey Tournament.