Loretto Abbey raised almost $5,000 for the Loretto Sisters’ school in South Sudan when the school’s hockey team took on a staff team led by coach Steve Malvaso, far left, in the annual Charity Cup April 4. The teams skated to a 5-5 draw. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Loretto Abbey ties one on for Sudan school

By 
  • April 11, 2012

TORONTO - Although Loretto Abbey’s 4th Annual Charity Cup Hockey Game ended in a 5-5 tie, there was a winner at the end — the girls in Sudan who will benefit from the $4,860 raised at the event.

“We’re going to give it to the Loretto Sisters who are trying to build a school, a high school, for girls in South Sudan,” said Loretto Abbey principal Alda Bassani. “This year all our efforts for charity are going to that cause.”

About 450 tickets were purchased for the April 4 hockey game at North Toronto Arena which pitted the school team against a staff squad. At $10 apiece, ticket sales raised the bulk of the money. Additional funds came from t-shirt sales, a Chuck-the-Puck contest and the sale of raffle tickets.

“Every year we’ve come in around $4,000 and this year was a little bit higher which is good,” said Steven Malvaso, student council moderator who organized the event. “We got about half the school out this year and every year we’re trying to push the boundary and get more. Next year we are going to push to bring even more in.”

Malvaso, who coaches the hockey team at the all-girls’ school, gave all he had during seven months of planning, and also while facing off against his team on the ice.

“I know I ride them a little bit harder and I think they try a little bit harder on me as well,” said Malvaso, who didn’t hesitate in blistering a few slap shots from the point — none of which made it through his female opponents. Two frustrating periods of this got to Malvaso who earned himself a two-minute minor for hooking early in the third. Malvaso’s indiscretion was costly however, as Meagan Lum netted a one-timer off the draw just 16 seconds into the power-play.

“I had to take a little penalty there to show them I was still the authority here,” said a laughing Malvaso. “It’s part of the nature of the game.”

It wasn’t just the Gators, the staff and their ringer Neil Sanderson from the band Three Days Grace enjoying themselves for three periods at this year’s event.

“It was the best one yet. The girls sometimes tend to die down in the second or third period because a lot of them don’t watch hockey, but student council did an excellent job keeping everyone riled up,” said Malvaso.

Council called upon the Gators’ mascot to make an appearance, had the school’s dance crew busting moves in the stands and even convinced some teachers to take part in a second intermission relay.

“I was able to increase the Abbey spirit and donate money to charity, (that) really made the event special to me,” said Abbey Fong, student council president. “It really make me feel like I’ve done my job this year.”

This year the school has raised more than $10,000 for the Loretto Sisters. With several events remaining before the end of the year, that is expected to grow.

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