Tuesday September 16, 2014

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Knoedler Classic Slo-Pitch Tournament aims to strike out cancer

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Hair stylist Leah Kot of Shades on Fifth, helps Shayla and Peyton Brenholen cut off Karie Ruckaber's braids while Karie's daughter Maura Tytlandsvik (left) patiently waits her turn at the Knoedler Classic in 2011. Karie will be donating her hair to Wigs for Kids again this year. The money raised from the Knoedler Tournament helps the Cancer Society fund leading-edge cancer research.

Making a difference is the name of the game when cancer fighters come together for the 8th annual Knoedler Classic Slo-pitch Tournament.

The tournament, which raises money for the fight against cancer through the Canadian Cancer Society's Fundraise for Life program, will take place August 22-24 at Nickle Lake Regional Park.

Cancer survivor Norbert Knoedler started the tournament with help from friends in 2007, after he was diagnosed with the disease.

The tournament has continued although Knoedler has moved away.

 - Hair stylist Meghan Vancuren takes the clippers to slo-pitch player Justin Hehn in the name of cancer research at the Knoedler Classic in 2011. Hehn will be donating his hair to Wigs for Kids again this year at the 8th Annual Knoedler Classic this weekend. -

Hair stylist Meghan Vancuren takes the clippers to slo-pitch player Justin Hehn in the name of cancer research at the Knoedler Classic in 2011. Hehn will be donating his hair to Wigs for Kids again this year at the 8th Annual Knoedler Classic this weekend.

Last year's tournament raised $32,485 through the tournament, supper and auction. To date, the Knoedler Classic has raised $73,613.47.

On Friday, August 22, there will be a supper and a sports memorabilia auction at Knox Hall. Tickets for the dinner are $20. The auction items include: a 24"x28" Old Yankee Stadium Seat Back Collage w/Official Dirt, Piece of Wall & Piece of Bat; Signed Pete Rose Ball - inscribed "SORRY I BET ON BASEBALL"; Signed 7"x18"Brett Favre MNF Lambeau Field Lithograph; Signed Ty Hilton Colts Jersey; Signed 2012 Sask Rider's Team Helmet; Signed 2012 Sask Rider's Team Jersey; Signed Wes Cates Rider Football, Hat & Banner; Signed Royce Grace UFC Glove - inscribed "HOF 2003"; Signed 8"x10" Sidney Crosby Photo; Signed; James Van Riemsdyk 2012 Winter Classic Puck; Signed 11"x14" Luke Schenn (Flyers) vs. Vincent LeCavlier (Lightning) Fight Photo; Signed Nazem Kadri Leafs Jersey; and a Signed 8"x10" Graham DeLaet Picture.

The evening also includes a silent auction with the following items: Two Weyburn Beavers 2015 season tickets; a Tupperware basket from Jen Thompson; a Weed Whipper from Gibson Environmental; a wine basket from Miller Well Service; items from Panther Drilling; items from Clean Harbors; a CMHA Painting; a Josh Neuberger Painting; and a $50 oil change from Barber Motors.

The ball tournament will be held at Nickle Lake with 14 teams taking part, with the finals on Sunday, August 24.

On Saturday, August 23, there will be a cabaret at Knox Hall with JJ Voss entertaining beginning at 8 p.m. This is a 19 and over cabaret and tickets will be sold at the door for $20. There are only 400 tickets available.

Following the tournament, two ball players will have their heads shaved by Kelsey Kabbeke of Karma Salon.

Karie Ruckaber has been raising money for the head shave portion of the event, along with fellow slo-pitch player Justin Hehn of Regina.

The head shave wasn't a fundraiser at the inception of the tournament eight years ago.

At the 2010 tournament, Weyburn slo-pitch player Shawn Scrupps was asked how much money it would take to get him to shave his head, said Ruckaber.

"He threw a number out, and we started going around the beer gardens collecting it," she said.

In 2011, Ruckaber said she would shave her head but she wanted to get pledges to do it.

"I told them I would shave my head at the 5th annual tournament but I wanted to raise money," she said.

Ruckaber said she was nervous about the first head shave. She went out and bought eight hats before the tournament, to cover her bald head.

"The first year was scary, I didn't know what my head was going to look like."

But when Leah Kot started the clippers, she dropped her head and closed her eyes.

"I think people thought I was crying, but I wasn't. It felt amazing," she said. "It was like a mini massage on my head."

Hehn and Ruckaber donate their pledges as well as their hair. The two will also donate their hair to wigs for kids.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. The money raised from this event helps the Cancer Society fund leading-edge cancer research, advocate for healthy public policies, offer vital community-based support services for people living with cancer and their families, and provide reliable and up-to-date information on cancer, risk reduction and treatment.


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