Every year since 2010 there has been a very special hockey tournament going on in Albany. A four team, 60 participant tournament has now turned into 20 teams and.. well I can’t count that high but WAY more than 60 players. The Capital Cup is one of the greatest events in the Capital Region. Why? What is the purpose of this tournament? To help out some kids.
About This Year’s Event: While it costs RMHC $80 per night to house each of our families, we never ask our families to pay for any of the services we provide. In an average year, RMHC provides over 5,300 room nights, which equates to $424,000 in direct expenses. 100% of the proceeds from the Capital Cup for Kids will be used to cover these rooming expenses as well as expenses that our families incur while dealing with the serious illness of a child. These expenses range from much needed medication to gas for cars to get back and forth from hospital visits. We hope you can join us for a wonderful event of charity, friendship and hockey, by doing so, you will be part of a remarkable legacy of providing comfort, hope and love to seriously-ill children and their families.
If you can’t get behind and support an event that helps out misfortunate kids then I hope every pass from now until the end of your beer league career is a buddy pass. Yeah, that’s right, I went there.
Did I mention that every year this tournament gets bigger and bigger?
The Capital Cup for Kids is an adult hockey tournament that started in 2010 with four local teams and approximately 60 participants. In 2011, the organizers brought the team captains together and asked them to make the event more than a good time on the ice and they discussed the concept of making it a charity event. It was decided that the event would benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Albany. In its first year as a charitable event, over $7,000 was raised. With the added value of “wish list” items donated, the value of all donations exceeded $10,000!
In 2012 the event was moved to Troy’s Knickerbocker Arena and expanded to eight teams and 120 players. A lofty goal of $20,000. Event organizers asked that funds be dedicated to the expansion project that was just underway at the House. Thanks to a challenge grant, each dollar raised by Capital Cup participants would be matched. All told over $27,000 was raised. With the match funds included, the event raised over $54,000 towards the expansion project.
In 2013, organizers added another four teams, bringing the total number of teams to 12 and participant total to 180. The 2013 Capital Cup for Kids benefited RMHC’s Families First Fund. This fund is dedicated to providing direct support to the children/families that utilize the Ronald McDonald House of Albany, Ronald McDonald Family Room in the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program operated in partnership with St. Peter’s Health Care Services. Each team was assigned a past or current Ronald McDonald House child to serve as their honorary captain.
In 2014, two additional teams were added and we divided the teams into a Master’s Flight of four teams (age 50+) and an Adult B Flight consisting of eight teams. Once again the event benefited our Families First and Share A Night Fund and each team played for an honorary captain.
2015 once again brought an expanded event, with 2 additional teams added. Dozens of RMH kids and their families visited the participants and our community rallied once again, raising over $80,000.
2016 once again featured 16 teams and raised nearly $100,000! In what is considered the best moment in Cap Cup history, the captains got together and made it possible for a bone marrow donor from Florida to meet the 5 year old boy he save at the event!
2017 set a new fundraising record and saw an expanded Family Day on Saturday with on site catering, fun and games for kids and a record number of Honorary Captain visits! And one of our Honorary Captains was texting with Sidney Crosby during a game!
RMHC salutes volunteer event co-chairs; John Doolittle, teacher at Shaker High School, Jake Dumensil, from Spectrum, the team captains; Andy Rosen, Larry Coon, Scott Ramundo, Kevin Kennedy, Chris Manzella, Josh Risler, Don Ferlazzo, Steve Valiquette, Mike Lashaway, Pat Valiquette Sr., Ed Woltman, Bill Hollister, Stan Pike, Mike Peterson, Brian Kelley, Tom Murley, Craig Durrant, Tim Hamilton, TJ Ferguson as well as Paul Hebert and the professional staff at the Albany County Hockey Facility, and the 300 men and women who take to the ice to benefit the House that Love Built each year.
Starting this Saturday and going till May 6th, teams will be competing to not only win the tournament but also raise as much money as possible. Have you felt like making a difference lately? Do you have a spare $5 hanging around in your wallet? Let’s be honest, what is $5 going to get you anyways? A Snickers bar and a gatorade is probably like $5.27. You’re now 27 cents short and feeling crappy about yourself. You know who could use your $5? These kids, these kids could use it. If you feel like helping out a great cause, click here and be sure to check out the website here. These guys not only set up a hell of a tournament but also make an impact on SO MANY young lives. #StickTaps for these players, organizers and for the Ronald McDonald House.