The Ontario Vermeer Canada Team participated in the Annual Ty's Tourney hockey tournament to help raise funds and to support the Canadian Mental Health Association. 

Ty’s Tourney took place on Saturday, April 22 at the Wave Twin Rinks, 1179 Northside Rd. Burlington, On.

The event hosted 160-plus players on 12 teams on both ice pads, as well as families and volunteers.

Lending their support to the cause was a pair of New York Riveters players from the National Women’s Hockey League — Burlington’s Ashley Johnston, the Riveters’ captain, and her teammate and alternate captain Kiira Dosdall. They’re both coached by Burlington’s Chad Wiseman.

In November 2012, the Howard family lost its youngest son and brother to depression and suicide. Tyler Howard was 31 years old.

Tyler was one of four hockey-playing brothers. He and his brothers Justin, Matt, and Ryan all played for the Burlington Eagles.

In memory of Ty, in April 2013 friends and family held the first Ty’s Tourney.

“It was a huge success with many friends and family (and) it gave us an opportunity to encourage the open discussion of the issues surrounding depression and mental health,” said Greg Howard, Ty’s father.

“Tyler was a good kid who loved hockey, and he loved his friends. If he could see what his friends and family are doing through this tournament, he had a word he always used. He’d say … ‘amazing,’” said Greg.

The first four tournaments enabled the Howard family to donate more than $100,000 to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

As a direct result of the money raised, a CMHA clinic in Oakville was opened, and one is coming to Burlington, said Greg.

For more information about the tourney, go to Tystourney.com.

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