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NoahStrong tournament a tremendous success

'With the support from the organization and the people we had surrounding us to help us out, we knew we could get it done'

Dave Dugas was not sure what type of event they wanted to run. 

"We were kind of late getting it started," admitted Dugas.  

But the father of Noah Dugas and organizer of the NoahStrong Charity Ball Hockey Tournament knew hockey was the right avenue for the new charity to take. 

"We started out thinking about a golf tournament but we kept coming back to the theme of hockey," said Dave. 

"It was back in February when we decided to do this. We didn't know if we could get it put together for an event this summer, but with the support from the organization and the people we had surrounding us to help us out, we knew that we could get it done." 

Local hockey icon Bill Barber was on hand to drop the ball for the ceremonial face-off at the Bill Barber Complex named after the Hall of Famer.  

"It is an honour always to come back home," said Barber, who still owns a cottage in Callander. 

"I can't express how privileged I really am to be part of this it is for a great cause obviously. The complex here in Callander is phenomenal, the town of Callander and North Bay area are all special to me."  

See related: NoahStrong ball hockey charity tournament goes Saturday

The one-day event included ball hockey teams from the Under-9 category all the way up to the Under-15 category. Organizers say more than 26 teams have signed up for the first annual event which also included a dinner and live music Saturday evening.  

All proceeds will go towards the NoahStrong Foundation. which is described as "an organization committed to supporting communities through the promotion, facilitation, and celebration of acts of kindness, selflessness and resiliency."

NoahStrong was created by family and friends in memory of Noah Dugas, a 13-year-old North Bay area hockey player who died of a stroke on November 13, 2020. The event also included a dinner and live music inside the community centre. 

Dugas says a key part of the foundation is helping families that may have to go through medical struggles with their children.  

"We help families who find themselves in a time of crisis," explained Dugas. 

"So we have the comfort packs that are available at the hospitals so when a family arrives at the hospital and they need to be rushed out to Sick Kid's or CHEO or somewhere, it's a comfort pack that kind of gives them all the things they would need to get through the first few days until they can get back on their feet."  

Dugas says another branch of NoahStrong which is being shared amongst the local high schools as a bursary in Noah's name will be handed out in all the high schools and those schools offering grade 8 classes. 

Dugas believes with all the support from the community and local businesses that this is an event they want to continue to run for years to come. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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