This past weekend was the 6th annual Chase McEachern Memorial Hockey for Heart Tournament; I became involved through a brother’s volunteering with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and organizing this years tournament. The event is an adult recreational level hockey tournament that took place this year in Chase’s home town of Barrie, Ontario. The events main goals are to fulfill Chase’s dream of placing life saving AED’s in all public places throughout the County of Simcoe.
Chase was very involved in Ontario Minor Hockey and after being injured in 2005 was diagnosed was an atrial flutter; a condition in which his heart was beating fast, sometimes even while sitting still. Being an active child along with a hockey fan when Chase learned that hockey greats were also being affected by irregular heartbeats he decided to start a campaign to make AEDs mandatory in arenas and public spaces. According to the tournaments website “Chase even went so far as to write TV hockey commentator Don Cherry a letter, asking for his support. But before the campaign launched, Chase collapsed while at school and passed away before his dream could become a reality.”
The Chase McEachern Memorial Hockey for Heart Tournament is all about remembering Chase and the completing the big project this inspiring young person took on.
At the end of the 6th annual Chase McEachern Memorial Hockey for Heart Tournament over Forty Thousand Dollars had been raised! Fundraising is open until May 30th as players have a chance at a final prize of playing a hockey game at the Toronto ACC.
Overall this was a great event I was happy to be apart of with a fantastic goal in sight. According to a post on the Chase McEachern Memorial Hockey Tournament Facebook page from earlier in the winter 48 lives at that time had been saved in Ontario because of Heart and Stroke funded AEDs. In one of the Heart and Stroke Foundation video’s on the page John McEachern states ” the fire extinguishers are here to protect the building but the AEDs are going to be here to protect the people.”