The coolest thing about Put Cancer on Ice 2014? For the first time ever, we are 100% volunteer led! Learn more about the inspiring people behind the event below.
Alex Cressman, Hockey Operations Chair
I’m Alex Cressman and I am the returning Hockey Operations Chair for the 2014 Put Cancer on Ice tournament. I currently live in Toronto where I study Medicine at the University of Toronto. I initially got involved with the event in 2011 for two major reasons: (1) to support the Canadian Cancer Society in funding cancer researchers and providing cancer support services across the country and (2) to volunteer for an event that so perfectly aligns with one of my biggest passions - the game of hockey, which I have loved to play for the past 18 years. This year is particularly special as it is the first year that PCOI is 100% volunteer-managed! Each of us on the organizing committee is committed to providing the best possible tournament experience to every participant. We hope to see you on the ice!
Renee Goncalves, Social Media and Creative Chair
Hi! I'm Renee. I recently graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, where I studied Communications and Education. Upon returning home to Toronto I wanted to get involved and meet people making a difference in the city. I was thrilled to discover Put Cancer on Ice and meet the great people behind it. I've always been interested in combining creativity with philanthropy, and hope someday that my career involves both. Naturally, the position as Social Media and Creative Chair at PCOI seemed like the perfect fit! As this is my first year being involved, I'm excited to get started and to help us reach (and exceed) this year's goal. When I'm not at my computer, I love to play sports, camp, and craft. Plus, I'm a big hockey fan... but I won't say for what team.
Ontai Lai, Fundraising Chair
Hockey is my passion, fighting cancer is my mission and Put Cancer on Ice is the vision. I am Ontai Lai and I am the Fundraising Chair for the 2014 Put Cancer on Ice tournament. I currently live in Toronto and manage customer analytics and research projects for TD Bank. I was first introduced to PCOI in 2010, where I met a fun-spirited group of individuals who were committed to helping cure cancer. Since then, I have joined the team of volunteer organizers, with the goal of creating the best hockey tournament in Toronto. Needless to say, I am ecstatic to be back this year as Fundraising Chair. I can't wait to see all of the teams out on the ice. Ontai still aspires to play for the Leafs, one day.
Kristen Mccomb, Silent Auction Co-Chair
Hey! I'm Kristen, I am from Etobicoke and I work for the National Fraud Detection Group at RBC. I am thrilled to join the Put Cancer on Ice organizing committee this year as a Silent Auction Co-Chair. I have a passion for community involvement, raising awareness about important issues and, of course, hockey. As an avid hockey fan you may have seen me cheering for the Leafs at the ACC or for friends’ hockey teams at many local rinks. My goal for the tournament is to create excitement within the community and to work hard to achieve this year’s fundraising target. Put Cancer on Ice provides the perfect opportunity to support the fight against cancer through the love of hockey. We want to bring the community together to make a real difference. See you all on the ice!
Cara McGonegal, Event Chair
I’m Cara McGonegal and I am excited, grateful and enthused to be the Event Chair for the 2014 Put Cancer on Ice hockey tournament. Since becoming involved with Put Cancer on Ice in 2007, I have been captivated by its potential to make a powerful difference within the community. Why do I fight? Like all of you, I have a personal connection to the cause; I have been gripped by the scourge of this awful disease since watching my younger brother endure a heart-wrenching battle with brain and spinal cancer over a decade ago. If not for the amazing surgeons and nurses who watched over him, he would not be here today. Through PCOI, I am hoping to give back – we want to connect you with the cause and to kindle the unique joy that only comes from hockey, the best game you can name!
Sara Neale, Silent Auction Co-Chair
I'm Sara Neale and I am returning to the 2014 Put Cancer on Ice volunteer committee as the co-chair for our amazing Silent Auction. I currently live in Oakville and am the Manager of Programming for Leafs TV, NBATV Canada & GOLTV Canada. I got involved in PCOI in 2009 for two reasons - to do my part in the fight against cancer, and because I love hockey. In 2006, my Uncle Bill lost a brave battle to cancer. Through PCOI, I am able to continue that fight for him by helping to raise funds for important research and support via the Canadian Cancer Society. PCOI is the perfect fit for me because it combines two things I am passionate about - helping to create a future where family and friends no longer lose loved ones to this dreadful disease, and hockey, the greatest game on earth. I can't think of a better event for hockey players and fans alike to rally behind such an important cause!
Crystal Peiris, Team Recruitment Chair
I am Crystal Peiris and I am the Chair of Team Recruitment for this year's Put Cancer on Ice Tourney! Hockey is my favourite sport to watch. I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba watching people transform backyards into ice rinks. I am lucky because I also work in sport - currently as a Manager of Sport for the 2015 Pan Am Games - and every day I get to do something I am passionate about by also being involved with PCOI! My personal connection with cancer involves watching friends and family fight a tough battle, some wins and some losses. I am happy to be involved with PCOI to help find a cure and support a great cause which impacts the lives of so many.
Ashleigh Wiggins, Silent Auction Co-Chair
Hey! I’m Ashleigh Wiggins and I am the returning co-chair for the 2014 Put Cancer on Ice Silent Auction. I grew up on Manitoulin Island and currently live in Toronto where I conduct breast cancer research at the University of Toronto. I initially got involved with PCOI in 2011 because it seemed like an amazing event for a very deserving cause, and as a good Canadian I can’t say no to hockey! My experience with PCOI has been phenomenal and the event, people and cause have me back for more this year. My personal connection with cancer spans beyond my research, as I have had a grandmother, aunt and cousin all battle and win their fights with cancer. Events like PCOI not only assist with funding cancer research, but also promote attitudes where 'finding the cure' is a possibility. In my spare time I can be found playing a variety of sports around the city, reading a good book, or playing my ukulele!