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They rally hockey players to fundraise for Sick Kids' hospital

The money from West of Contra’s gala is funding a research project at Sick Kids’ Family Heart Centre.

Tom Arban

The donors: James Blackburn and Cam Healy

The gift: Raising $165,000 and climbing

The cause: Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children

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The reason: To fund research into pediatric heart surgery

James Blackburn and Cam Healy have been putting on corporate events around Toronto for years and went into business together four years ago. Shortly after they joined forces to create West of Contra, they decided to put their talents to use for a charitable cause as well.

That led to the creation of the All-Star Gala, an annual ball that raises money for Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. The sports-themed event has been held since 2015 and has raised $165,000 so far for the hospital. Past athlete attendees have included hockey players P.K. Subban, James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Rielly. Mr. Blackburn, Mr. Healy and their team of volunteers are hoping to raise another $100,000 at this year's gala on June 16.

The money from this year's gala is funding a research project at Sick Kids' Family Heart Centre to develop procedures to eliminate brain damage during infant open-heart surgery.

"Both Cam and I have numerous connections to Sick Kids through friends and family," said Mr. Blackburn, explaining why they wanted to support the research project. "We're really excited to grow this event into the future and see what sort of difference we can make."

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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