On the spur of the moment, Stanley Cup in hand, two summers ago Patrick Sharp paid a visit to the George Jeffrey Children’s Centre.
Seeing the smiles on the youngsters’ faces and the good the centre was doing in the community made the Chicago Blackhawks forward think.
Two years later those thoughts have materialized into the first annual Patrick Sharp Golf Tournament, money raised from the event being directed to the centre, a facility that helps disabled children with their physical, developmental and social needs.
“I think it was an easy decision,” Sharp said Wednesday night at a small appreciation celebration put on at the centre.
“My family and I are really proud to be associated with the George Jeffrey Children’s Centre. Our relationship goes back a few years ago … I made a small visit over here to the centre and I realized it made a pretty big impact. I felt there was the potential to grow the event and turn it into something special.”
The nine-year veteran and father of seven-month-old Madelyn, said he couldn’t think of a better charity to get behind in his hometown of Thunder Bay.
“We’re happy to do it, we’re thrilled to be here and excited the day’s finally here,” he said.
While he won’t be bringing any of his current Hawks teammates to the tournament, being staged Thursday at the Fort William Country Club, Sharp said the idea has already crossed his mind for next year’s event.
“We’re going to take it year by year and the plan is to make it as big as we can and raise as much money, and have as much good times as we can toward a really good cause. I’ve got the golf swing tuned up and hopefully I can win it tomorrow,” he said.
Newly acquired Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal is also expected to participate.
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