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Strong support for second NoahStrong Day Ball Hockey Tournament

'We can not thank them enough for their hard work and support to allow the event to run smoothly and ensure everyone’s safety'

The second annual NoahStrong Day Ball Hockey Tournament in Callander was a tremendous success once again. 

“Last year we had 29 teams and this year 40,” says Dave Dugas, the co-organizer of the event that is named after his son. NoahStrong is a charitable organization 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 was played at the Bill Barber Complex and featured 3 on 3 pond hockey style games for kids in the U7 through to U13 age categories. Teams fundraised for their entry fees and all proceeds will go towards the NoahStrong Foundation.  

“Last year some of the money raised was donated to One Kids Place in North Bay for the loan assistance program, some was donated to Holland Bloorview Research institute for Strokes in Youth. We also have our bursary program throughout our local schools district. Our board of directors will be meeting to determine where the funds will be distributed from this year's event,” says Dugas. 

NoahStrong, is described as "an organization committed to supporting communities through the promotion, facilitation and celebration of acts of kindness, selflessness and resiliency." It is an organization that has received tremendous community support since its inception and this year's tournament was no different.  

“We are very fortunate to have such great volunteers many of whom are friends, and we can not thank them enough for their hard work and support to allow the event to run smoothly and ensure everyone’s safety,” says Dugas.  

The tournament has also attracted some big names to come out and support it, including former NHLer Bill Barber, as well as local hockey stalwarts; Team Canada FISU Gold Medal winner, and Nipissing Lakers Women’s Hockey All-Star Maria Dominico, along with OHL Sarnia Sting Goaltender and Team Canada World Junior Championship Gold Medal Winner Ben Gaudreau.  

“It’s the second year that Bill has made a special trip back to Callander to attend our event. We also wanted to acknowledge the success of Ben and Maria who both won a gold medal playing for Team Canada this past hockey season,” says Dugas.  

The group was present for the ceremonial face-off and stayed to sign autographs for those in attendance. Speaking at the evening dinner, Barber said, “"It is an honour always to come back home. 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."   

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.   

“Although we did want to include more teams this year our main goal was to enhance the overall experience for both participants and spectators,” Dugas says. “We hope to have achieved this by introducing the interactive hockey games from Top Shots and the Hardwood mountain biking experience.” 

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Matt Sookram

About the Author: Matt Sookram

Matthew Sookram is a Canadore College graduate. He has lived and worked in North Bay since 2009 covering different beats; everything from City Council to North Bay Battalion.
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