November 28, 2023
And for a fifth straight year, we have set a new event record!
Tournament participants spent months fundraising for the right to play alongside former fan favourites like Michael Del Zotto, Matthew Barnaby, Kirk McLean and Frank Corrado.
Efforts ranged from grassroots initiatives, like hosting pub nights, donating auction items and collecting pledges from friends — to corporate-level contributions, like securing sponsorships and selling Luncheon tables.
The end result? Over $1.07 million raised for the cause!
Leading the way for the third straight year were The Constructors. Led by Cam McClelland, this team full of dedicated CAN supporters raised a remarkable $172,000+. In the individual standings, longtime supporter Rob Anselmo earned the Golden Helmet, having raised an astonishing $42,000+.
But you can’t say “CAN Pro-Am” without saying “Bob Shanks“. The legendary fundraiser was edged out by the thinnest of margins in the standings. With his total of $37,000+, Bob brought his all-time total to over $350,000 raised for CAN since 2012!
And why do fundraisers like Cam, Rob and Bob put in months of hard work? As Bob would say, “It’s all for the kids.”
Thanks to events like the CAN Pro-Am, our impact now extends far beyond our traditional children’s sports programs.
Held at the Parq Vancouver on Friday, November 3, guests came for a raucous Q&A with Brad May, Darcy Hordichuk and Barnaby. But it was a CAN participant and staff member who stole the show.
“I thought I was bound to be nothing.” Brayden shared. “But I’ve gone from being a high school dropout who never left his room to someone whose schedule is packed with shifts at multiple jobs, including working at CAN!”
Brayden and Lori received not one, but two standing ovations.
Teams selected NHL Alumni onto their rosters in the order that they finished in the fundraising. It was a trio of CAN Pro-Am rookies that were taken off the board first. Del Zotto, Barnaby and Hordichuk were drafted first, second and third overall.
“To be in a room full of selfless people who donate and give back is refreshing,” said Del Zotto. “Everybody is here for the same cause. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. I’ve done a lot of charity events, but this one is probably the most special.”
On Saturday and Sunday, we finally dropped the puck on 2023 at the North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex.
With an NHL Alumni on each roster, teams played a total of 28 games over the 2-day tournament.
To cap off the on-ice action, our top 25 fundraisers suited up for the All-Star Game, sponsored by Nightingale Electrical Ltd. on Sunday afternoon. CAN participant and PA announcer extraordinaire Ryan Chilton was back at the mic, while CAN and Sarah McLachlan School of Music student Lexi sang the national anthem.
Our immense thanks to all the players, coaches, donors, sponsors and supporters who make this tournament possible each and every year. Your efforts will make a lasting impact on the lives of so many children, youth and adults on the autism spectrum.
We already can’t wait for 2024!
Learn more about the tournament: canproam.ca
Thank you to all our CAN Pro-Am sponsors