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News | April 4, 2012

Canadian Forces hockey team raises money for cancer center

By Lt (RCN) Al Blondin NORAD Public Affairs

OKLAHOMA CITY - In a tight match to the finish, the Tinker Air Force Base Canadian Forces Detachment Hockey Team completed its seventh annual fundraising game, winning by one goal against the Oklahoma University Sooners on March 30.

“This game is a great outreach to our community,” said Maj. Kevin Ciesielski, Tinker AFB Canadian Detachment deputy commanding officer. “We appreciate this opportunity to have fun while raising money for a good cause.”

The yearly game doubles as a fundraiser, and a different cause is chosen every year. This year’s selected beneficiary was the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.

“It’s good for the kids to give something back to society and participate in charitable causes,” said Sooners Assistant General Manager Chris Perry. “They learn that an education is not just about grades but also learning to become responsible adults.”

The Sooners also had Canadian connections. Head Coach Peter Arvanitis is a native of Montreal; he came to the Sooners after playing professionally in Oklahoma with the Central Hockey League.

“We have a great relationship with the Canadians on the base,” he said. “This game is a great way to foster that relationship.”

Another Sooners’ player comes from Surrey, British Columbia, and goalie Louis Libin, grandson of Calgary Flames owner Alvin Libin, hails from Calgary. Louis said that he was encouraged by his father to check out Oklahoma University.

“When I saw the hockey facilities and met the people here, I was sold on it.” Louis traded places with the Tinker AFB goalie and played for the Canadian team for the whole game.

Tinker AFB Canadian Detachment members, Lt. Chuck MacDonald and Capt. Shawn Guilbault organized the game. Their efforts resulted in a total of $2,000 raised for the Center.