Geoff Courtnall swaps hockey skates for sneakers, Raises funds for mental health, cancer care

Posted in: Press Releases, Spotlight- Apr 09, 2012

April 9, 2012, Victoria, BC – Former Bruins wingers Geoff Courtnall and Cam Neely are teaming up once again, with Courtnall heading back to their Massachusetts stomping grounds and shooting to raise charitable funds during the Boston Marathon, April 16, 2012.

Courtnall is running the 42-km (26-mile) route in the name of mental health and cancer care, splitting all funds raised between his charity, the Courtnall Celebrity Classic Society and the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. Neely has supported the Courtnall Celebrity Classic held in Victoria, BC, helping Courtnall raise funds for mental health. Raising funds during the Boston Marathon is Courtnall’s chance to return the favour.

And with a goal of crossing the finish line in a speedy time of just three hours and 10 minutes, Courtnall has also pledged to personally donate $1,000 for every minute he comes under his target.

Members of the public can support Courtnall by visiting www.courtnallclassic.org

“For Cam and I, this race is personal,” said Courtnall. “I am running for our parents – for Cam’s mom and dad who he lost to cancer, and for my father who I lost to suicide. And as I’m pounding the pavement next week, I can say for certain that thoughts of dad, and the many people like him who suffer each day from mental illness, will push me closer to the finish line.”

In 2003, Courtnall and his brothers Bruce and Russ founded the Courtnall Celebrity Classic Society as a way to raise funds for mental health and awareness about mental illness stigma. Three successful weekend gala events and golf tournaments were held in 2003, 2004 and again in 2011. To-date, the society has raised millions of dollars for the cause, with more than $3M directed towards initiatives within the brothers’ Victoria, BC community. Monies raised by the brothers also helped open the doors to the Archie Courtnall Centre, an emergency psychiatric unit located in the heart of the West Coast city and named in honour of the brothers’ father.

Neely launched the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care in 1995, soon after his parents Marlene and Michael passed away from cancer. Designed to help patients and their families during treatment, the Boston-based foundation has raised more than $18M to-date and has helped thousands of families affected by cancer.

Both from Vancouver Island, BC, Courtnall and Neely played alongside each other for the Boston Bruins from 1986 to 1988. Courtnall retired from hockey in 2000 after playing for such other NHL teams as the Vancouver Canucks, the Edmonton Oilers, the Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues; while Neely, first drafted by the Canucks in 1983, played for the Bruins from 1986 until his retirement in 1996.

About the Courtnall Celebrity Classic Society
The Courtnall Celebrity Classic Society was created by Geoff, Bruce and Russ Courtnall to help take the stigma out of mental health. The society has raised millions of dollars to date, with more than $3M directed specifically to the support of mental health initiatives within the community of Victoria, BC. In 2004, the society helped create the Archie Courtnall Centre, an emergency psychiatric unit named in honour of the brothers’ father. For more information, visit www.courtnallclassic.org.

About the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care
The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care was created in 1995 after the passing of Neely’s parents, Marlene and Michael, from cancer. This difficult experience inspired Neely to help others living with cancer. With the dream of honoring Marlene and Michael and the hope of helping others dealing with similar circumstances, the Cam Neely Foundation was created to help cancer patients and their families during treatment. For more information, visit www.camneelyfoundation.org.

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Suggested Tweet: Help former #NHL player Geoff Courtnall and raise $ for #mentalhealth & #cancer http://bit.ly/HsK4zh #BostonMarathon #yyj #bos

Media Contacts:
Brian Cant, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838 or brian@tartangroup.ca
Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 (cell) or deirdre@tartangroup.ca