Puck to drop on Casey’s Cup 2019 at new Great Park Ice facility
After a one-year absence from the ice, Casey’s Cup 2019 will make its debut April 13 at the new Great Park Ice facility in Irvine.
The charity three-on-three ironman cross-ice hockey tournament is named in memory of Casey Strale, an avid ice and roller youth hockey player who captured the hearts of the Southern California’s hockey community during his four-year battle with adrenal cortical carcinoma (ACC), a rare form of cancer that ultimately took his life at age 16 in 2013.
The Casey’s Cup event, which was started by his parents Traci and Chris Strale in 2015, celebrates both their son’s outsized love of life and hockey as well as serving as an important fundraiser for cancer research, treatment and quality of life for patients.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, is the primary beneficiary.
The Casey Strale Foundation, formed by Casey’s parents in his memory, has raised more than $150,000 for TGen’s ACC research in the past four years.
No ice tournament took place last year, though the foundation raised more than $11,000 from a tasting it forward event at the Orange Coast Winery.
This year’s event sold out three weeks prior to the entry deadline. More than 70 teams are entered. Competition is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
April 13 was chosen because 13 was Casey’s jersey number.
The Strales said the new rink should provide a significantly upgraded experience for all players and spectators.
“Ours will be the first charity event hosted at the new venue, so we’re very honored,” Chris Strale said. “We are slated to run our three-on-three cross-ice games on two rinks. One of the rinks is the grand FivePoint Arena with the look and feel of a mini-Honda Center. Our other rink is the Ducks’ practice rink.
“We’ve already received a lot of positive feedback from players and fans looking forward to experiencing the new rinks and playing on them.
“The support from hockey community has always been awesome, but especially this year.”
The Strales noted that an exciting addition to this year’s event in an alumni division comprised of four teams of former NHL players.
Wild Wing, the NHL Anaheim Ducks mascot, the Ducks street team and the NFL L.A. Rams street team will all be making appearances.
Other fun events to enjoy on site are a silent auction/raffle, bake sale and live music.
Auction/raffle items include signed memorabilia as well as a new Casey’s Cup jersey autographed by Ducks players.
During the day, a ceremony is planned to specifically honor Casey and celebrate the positive impact his legacy continues to have inside and outside of the local hockey community.
“We’ll showcase the tournament’s purpose, share news regarding the incredible research being performed at TGen and hear words from Jim Everett, former Rams quarterback and a huge TGen supporter,” Chris Strale said.
The Casey’s Cup tournament has been an obvious labor of love for the entire Strale family, family friends and the whole hockey community.
“It’s amazing to our family that our little hockey playing kid could be the catalyst, prompting people from all walks of life to pause, reflect, learn and donate,” Chris Strale said. “Along with all the smiles and good times at the event, our family delights in the fact that funds are being raised to support valuable research that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
“Our goal is help other families avoid what we had to endure. An exciting sidebar is that since ACC is so rare and formidable, finding successful treatments for it will also provide effective treatments for more common forms of cancer. Casey’s drop in the water will create a ripple effect.”
For more information on the upcoming event and how to make donations, visit tgen.org/caseystrale and www.facebook.com/caseyscup.
— Phillip Brents
(April 2, 2019)