The original Hockey for Heart tournament was created to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation by then volunteer Rob Weir after he saw his father, Roger Weir suffer a massive heart attack and die while playing in a shinny hockey game.
In its first year (1995), the original Durham region tournament had 4 teams and raised $1,400 dollars.
Starting in 2008, Hockey for Heart became Heart&Stroke Hockey for Heart and under Rob's guidance the concept was expanded to other cities. Along the way the program has raised over $1.75 million dollars for the Heart and Stroke Foundation! 4 tournaments were successfully run in 2008 and in 2012 will feature even more tournaments between January and June across Ontario.
The ProStars Game and Hockey for Heart
In recent years, the 'ProStars Game' (where the top 15 fundraisers in each tournament test their skills against former NHL and professional players) has contributed greatly to the success of the tournament. The program owes a debt of gratitude to the Alumni All-Stars team who have volunteered to come out and support the cause and give our top fundraisers a chance to play against some of their heroes!
Among the former NHL players to play and sign autographs are; Johnny Bower, Darryl Sittler, Wendel Clark, Todd Warriner, Tim Taylor, Marcel Dionne, Jay Wells, Georges Laraque and the late Peter Zezel. Other notable celebrities who have taken part in the past include Brian McFarlane, Andy Van Hellemond, Bryan Lewis, Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), George Stroumboulopoulos (CBC - The Hour), Andrew Scott (Sloan) and Gord Downie (Tragically Hip).
Each event has a different group of Pros, check your schedule to see who will be playing in your city.