The story behind the 3D Charity Hockey Tournament began in 1999. The initial idea came about with the knowledge of a student at the Grande Prairie Composite High School needing a heart transplant and the family incurring mounting medical expenses. High School boys and girls played a round robin format at the old Johnny Macdonald Arena in hopes of raising some money via gate receipts and donations. That year, $1,300 was raised for the student and her family. The next year, a couple more students in the Grande Prairie Public, Catholic, and Peace Wapiti School divisions were identified as dealing with serious medical conditions and over $8,000 was raised for five students, and so began the inaugural Tri-District Charity Hockey Tournament. For the past four years the Tournament has showcased high school and junior high school boys and girls in a 3 on 3 format over four days playing on two sheets of ice. Funds are raised via multiple initiatives with gate receipts, silent auction items donated by local businesses and professional sports teams, cash donations from local businesses, and a raffle ticket draw too name a few.
Funds raised help to lighten the burden for these students and their families who need medical treatment. There are students in the three school districts who need to travel to Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle and therefore we can help them with transportation, food, accommodation and other miscellaneous expenses. Over 100 students have benefited directly with funds from the tournament with each student receiving a cash donation and a gift of choice from the student. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital children’s ward has also been a benefactor of the tournament, receiving funds to furnish a theme room, benefit the therapeutic clown program, purchase Wii game systems for patient rooms, and a big screen TV and PS3 in the family room.