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Big bucks for Sick Kids

Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club played host

Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club played host

TORONTO – They came, they curled (and played golf, tennis and croquet) and now they’ve departed... and the SickKids Foundation is a lot richer for it.

24 celebrity curling skips joined 72 other curlers/fundraisers and, together with a fine collection of event sponsors, raised over $65,000 for charity at the Capital One Celebrity Bonspiel in support of SickKids Foundation.

Not bad for a first-time event, which had an initial hope of some $30,000 in monies raised.

“We are delighted with the response from the participants and our sponsors,” said co-chair Jeff Steski. “We were also pleased to announce the return of the event next year, on June 3-4, 2011.”

Capital One marketing honcho Ian Cunningham confirmed his company’s continued support next season.

“We’ve been involved in the sport for three full years now,” said Cunningham. “And one thing that continues to impress us is the people.

“Curlers and curling fans are fantastic, they love to give their time and effort for great causes and we love to work with them.”

Funny? You should see the pics before this one

Funny? You should see the pics before this one

What turned into a multi-sport weekend in T.O. finally ended when Laura Crocker’s team upended L’Equipe Brenda Nicholls (funny photo at left) to capture the title. The second event went to the Glenn Howard foursome, while Geri-Lynn Ramsay and friends earned third event honours.

In the Odyssey White Ice Challenge, event qualifiers attempted to putt a golf ball down a sheet of ice into a carved-out button. 2006 Olympic champion Brad Gushue came closest, stopping the ball directly on the tee line... albeit in the 12-foot rings.

In addition to major sponsors Capital One, The Dominion and Callaway Golf, the event was supported by Campbell’s, iShares, Mackenzie Investments, Bruno’s Fine Foods, DELSO Group of Companies and Paulin, plus a host of team sponsors, including The Curling News.

As U.K. Olympic ice queen Eve Muirhead declared, “It’s for the kids!” And it certainly was.

[The Curling News images by Anil Mungal. Click on an image to increase size. See event website later today for additional images]