OHL Alumni Golf Classic raises $20,000 in Support of ALS Action Canada Super Fund
Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is proud to announce that the 2023 OHL Alumni Golf Classic held at Diamondback Golf Club in Richmond Hill, Ont. on Wednesday, raised $20,000 in support of ALS Action Canada’s Super Fund, a cause championed by OHL and NHL alumnus Mark Kirton, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2018.
“We had an amazing turnout from OHL alumni, corporate partners and our team staff members,” said OHL Director of Player Recruitment and Player Services Brodie Barrick. “It was great to see everyone come together for such an important cause and support the ALS Super Fund in honour of OHL alumnus Mark Kirton.”
More than 120 golfers participated in Wednesday’s event, with prominent OHL graduates such as Gabriel Landeskog of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, long-time NHL head coach Bruce Boudreau and current OHL head coaches in Jay McKee (Brantford Bulldogs), Rob Wilson (Peterborough Petes) and James Richmond (Mississauga Steelheads) taking part.
Kirton has emerged as a true champion in the fight against the disease. His unwavering determination has led him to establish the ALS Super Fund, a remarkable initiative that unites and supports various charities in Canada all dedicated to a common goal: putting an end to ALS.
“It is so special to see all the participants come back and support such a great cause,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “What we experienced here today is the power of sport, it is inspiring. I marvel at the courage of Mark Kirton, his wife Lisa, and their family as they continue to raise awareness, and fight this horrible disease.”
Mark Kirton played three OHL seasons with the Peterborough Petes from 1975-78, winning a J. Ross Robertson Cup title in his final season. He’d go on to be named to the 1978 Memorial Cup All-Star Team, being recognized as the tournament’s Most Sportsmanlike Player as the Petes lost to the WHL’s New Westminster Bruins in the Championship Final. Drafted in the third round of the 1978 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kirton would go on to play in parts of six NHL seasons, recording 113 points (57-56–113) over 266 regular season contests between Toronto, Detroit and Vancouver. He also played several seasons in the American Hockey League before retiring at the conclusion of the 1988-89 campaign.
Kirton, who has worked professionally as a realtor in Oakville, has had the support of his wife Lisa and three adult children as they walk through the ALS journey together. It’s a disease afflicting approximately 3,000 Canadians, with 1,000 cases diagnosed annually. ALS continues to work its way into the hockey world, with the emotional passing of Toronto Maple Leafs great Borje Salming. Others are suffering with the disease such as Ottawa Senators assistant coach Bob Jones and Calgary Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow among others. Collectively, the group has managed to recruit nine of the most well-known neurologist/scientist/researchers in the world to come together and recommend funding to the best cutting-edge investigative trials and research.
So far, almost $800,000 has been raised in only a short time with additional fundraisers in the near future. The goal is to raise millions to find a cure once and for all and end this disease.
The ALS Super Fund was inspired by ALS Action Canada, the first patient-led movement to end the disease. Together with numerous ALS warriors from across the country, Mark shares a powerful dream: to unite charitable organizations and foster collaborative solutions in the battle against ALS. The ALS Super Fund is focused on results, led by patients, guided by experts, and working with charitable organizations that can deliver transformative change.
For more information on the ALS Super Fund, visit https://my.charitableimpact.com/campaigns/als-super-fund-together-we-endals.