In 2017, I participated in the World’s Longest Hockey game right here in Buffalo, New York to raise money for Cancer Research at Rowell Park. It was a grueling event that would not have been possible without contributions from the community including friends, donors, event coordinators and the countless number of volunteers we had to help with the journey. In the end, we were able to raise over $1.2 Million Dollars for this worthwhile cause.
The 40 teammates that I had for this event never lost sight of the reasons we were playing. We were all driven to raise money for Roswell and we all had our own personal reasons for being part of such a great event. There are so many stories we shared with each other over 11 days and there are many more stories to be told.
The founders of this event, Amy and Mike Lesakowski, have a deep rooted passion, along with the rest of us, to continue the quest in 2019 with an 11 Day Power Play Community Shift. The purpose of this important event is to raise critically-needed funds for important local cancer causes, including: cutting-edge cancer research and wellness programs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center; supporting programs that improve quality of life for children, adults and families affected by cancer through Camp Good Days; and, granting wishes and amazing experiences to kids with life-threatening illnesses, including cancer, by Make-A-Wish Western New York. We hope that you will join us in some form for this great event either as a player, donor volunteer or supporter.
My personal reason for playing revolves around my family and friends. Over the years, we have endured a countless number of battles with cancer. Unfortunately, we have lost loved ones but we have also had loved ones beat this deadly disease. We can only hope that the donations generated through this event will be used to finally put an end to this disease.
I have one last story to share. In 2017, each player was asked to secure a Corporate donation of $5000.00. When I struggled to find a corporate donor who was willing to do this, my mother approached me and asked if she could be MY Corporate Sponsor. Without hesitation, I said yes and the family jumped into action. Within 24 hours, my sister had a log made with inspiring words written in each letter of our last name:
My other sister used Social Media and word of mouth to get the details out and drove countless hours to and from the event to support the team and the cause. My son was in attendance numerous times to support the event and when he wasn’t there, was providing encouraging words over the phone. I would not have been able to do this without their support and I love them all dearly!!!
We hope to see you out supporting the cause when we take to the ice beginning July 5 in 2019. I can assure you this event will be amazing!!!!
This summer, more than 2,500 pairs of skates will hit the ice to play in the 2019 11 Day Power Play Community Shift to help in the fight against cancer! The 11-day game will be played in continuous shifts at Harborcenter in Buffalo, NY. This important event supports The 11 Day Power Play, raising critically-needed funds for cancer research and wellness programs at Roswell Park, Camp Good Days and Make-A-Wish WNY. While it is physically challenging to play in a marathon hockey game, it's a walk in the park compared to what most endure in their battle against cancer. Cancer is a disease that touches everyone, and The 11 Day Power Play wants to make an impact in our community. In the past two years, The 11 Day Power Play has raised nearly $2.5 million supporting cancer causes in Western New York.
Donations are graciously accepted online or by check. Please write checks out to 'The 11 Day Power Play' and send to PO Box 4, Buffalo, NY 14223. If you are interested in a sponsorship, contact Sara Schumacher today.
To learn more about the 11 Day Power Play organization, visit www.11daypowerplay.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.