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Hockey tournament, staff party raise money for The Twinkie Foundation

Pioneer Construction Inc., Silver Creek Golf Course events raise $12,000 for charity over the weekend
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The Silver Creek Cup raised $7,000 for the Twinkie Foundation over the course of the annual seven-day hockey tournament. Silver Creek Cup participants Erica Aceti, left, and Claudia Levesque pose at centre ice while Silver Creek Golf Course general manager Jamie Henderson, left, and Twinkie Foundation board member Sonny Spina hold the obligatory novelty cheque. James Hopkin/SooToday

The Twinkie Foundation says an influx of donated cash from a staff Christmas party and a hockey tournament over the weekend will be a life changing experience for local families who need help covering travel expenses for their child’s medical trips.

The annual Christmas party for the staff of Pioneer Construction Inc. - along with staff of the construction company’s subsidiaries, Fisher Wavy and Palmer Construction Inc. - raised $5,000, while the Silver Creek Cup used its annual hockey tournament to present $7,000 to The Twinkie Foundation between games at the tournament Saturday at the Rankin Arena.

Linda Lewis of Pioneer Construction Inc. says that proceeds from a raffle table and cover charge at the door during its staff Christmas party Friday evening brought in $2,500, with Pioneer ownership matching those proceeds with another $2,500 donation for the charitable organization.

“I think it’s pretty awesome,” Lewis told SooToday. “I call my construction workers my kids. I’m real proud of my kids, because every year when we do this, they come together and they freely give.”

Lewis says that the construction workers at the staff party “know how to be generous” when it comes to supporting a good cause.  

“For families to have to go through that, and the crisis of an illness and also to have to go away - it can cost you thousands of dollars, it can cost you your savings to just try and fight for your child,” she said. “I think it’s a very worthy cause and we were very, very happy to do it.”

Nearly 24 hours after The Twinkie Foundation received $5,000 from the construction industry, foundation board member Sonny Spina was at the Rankin Arena to receive a $7,000 donation from the Silver Creek Cup, a seven-day, 24-team hockey tournament hosted by Silver Creek Golf Course that has donated approximately $30,000 to charity since the tournament began six years ago.

Silver Creek Golf Course general manager Jamie Henderson says the Silver Creek Cup began as a way of helping out a friend, eventually evolving in order to help out a number of causes locally.

“One of my friends actually had a daughter with leukemia, so it was a chance to get hockey players together, as we love to do, and raise some money for them at the time, and it’s kind of just evolved into different causes and charities over the years,” he said.

Henderson says that donating to The Twinkie Foundation hits close to home for the players taking part in the tournament, many of them parents themselves.

“I had a son 15 months ago and he’s perfectly healthy, but you know, you hear some stories of families that aren’t so fortunate, and once we learned about it [Twinkie Foundation], it kind of hit home for a lot of us,” he said.

Prior to Saturday evening’s cheque presentation at the Silver Creek Cup, Spina told SooToday that The Twinkie Foundation appreciates the generous fundraising efforts of the tournament.

“They’ve chosen the Twinkie Foundation, to support us, and they’re donating over $7,000 to our foundation tonight,” said Spina. “It’s amazing to see that different organizations and different people in town here see the impact that the foundation is making.”

“Even though we’re only about a year-and-a-half old, they see the impact that their dollars are making - having a huge effect on local families right here in Sault Ste. Marie.”

Spina says the $12,000 raised for The Twinkie foundation will be a “life changing experience” for families in need of financial assistance while their children are in the hospital.

“There’s nothing more stressful than travelling for your child when they’re in medical distress, so if we can help ease the financial burden, and ease that stress in families’ lives, that’s a huge, huge, win for us.”  




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