Cure Cancer Classic looks to reach funding milestone

Queen's Cure Cancer Classic organizing committee is gearing up to roll out its first of many events of the 2022/23 school year.

This year will mark the 17th annual year that the Cure Cancer Classic has been a part of the Queen's community, with the main attraction being the annual Commerce versus Engineering rivalry hockey game which will be held in March at the Leon's Centre.

In its 17 years as part of the Queen's and Kingston community, Cure Cancer Classic initiatives - led by the Comm-Eng rivalry game - have been responsible for raising close to $900,000 in donations for cancer research, with the return of last year's game helping to account for a significant chunk of that total.

With a huge cumulative milestone of $1 million not too far out of reach, the organizing team is hopeful that upcoming events in the next month will allow that goal to be reached before the end of this year.

Currently the team is making a push to increase registration for the Queen's Classic, which will see teams divided by faculty pitted against one another vying for bragging rights on the weekend of November 18th and 19th at the Invista Centre.

With that event raising over $70,000 from the registration of 120 male and female players in 2021, organizers hope to include even more participants this year and raise $100,000 through the tournament.

While most of the events are centered around hockey, an Up All Night event has also been added for early December for students who want to be involved in the events but don't play hockey themselves.

Between these two events, the Cure Cancer Classic organizing committee hope to surpass $1 million in donations cumulatively before the year ends.

As the years go on, organizing committees have put a concerted effort into growing existing events and expanding the reach to include new events, and that has reflected in the growing donation totals.

Co-chair Amy Janes says the commitment to providing a great experience for everyone involved has been paramount to growing and improving upon the brand of Cure Cancer Classic.

"Within the Queen's campus there's a lot of buzz about CCC events and that's probably because each year we've made sure player experience is top of mind," Janes said.

"Each event we're able to just garner more brand recognition and more buy-in from students across Queen's campus."

Janes said while the events have grown somewhat organically within the Queen's community, the organizing committee sees an opportunity to further grow and include more of the general Kingston community, and have kicked around the idea of live streaming games as a starting point.

"We recognize that we have a lot brand recognition within the Queen's campus but our event is something that has the potential to cater to a lot of Kingston residents," Janes said.

"We think it makes a lot of sense for the Kingston community to be involved."

Organizers also feel that these initiatives could be spread further than just within Kingston.

For the past fifteen years the Commerce Classic, this year happening the weekend of January 21, has brought a number of university teams to Kingston to compete and raise money, co-chair Rob Hume says they're looking to include even more schools this year.

He says they've been in touch with brand ambassadors at other schools to see how they can be incorporated in Queen's events, or how they might go about starting fundraising traditions of their own.

"We're working with brand ambassadors at other campuses like Western, Dalhousie and UBC to kind of grow the message of what we've been doing here to other schools," Hume said.

"So they can run events associated with us or do their own spin off and run events to raise money for cancer research. At the end of the day that's our goal is to raise the most money so if we can get more students involved that's even better."

Funds raised through Cure Cancer Classic events will go towards brain cancer research, with donations again set to be matched by an anonymous donor.

More info on how to get involved in events and a donation portal can be found on the Cure Cancer Classic website.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, YGK News