Hayley Wickenheiser, Photo by Dave Holland. Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health Foundation. Hayley Wickenheiser, Photo by Dave Holland. Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health Foundation.

Canadian hockey icon Hayley Wickenheiser to headline hospital gala

A decorated Canadian hockey star will headline this year's Bluewater Health Foundation Gala.

The ninth annual event will feature World Champion and Olympic gold medalist Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser.

Wickenheiser made hockey history as the first female player to notch a point in a men's professional game, and the first woman to have played in or coached at four NHL development camps.

She is currently serving as the assistant general manager of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs while completing her medical residency.

Foundation Executive Director Kathy Alexander said Wickenheiser is a titan of sport, and a leader both on and off the ice.

"We have definitely had Hayley on our list of hopefuls to come to Bluewater Health," said Alexander. "We always focus on, mostly Canadian, of all of our speakers only one was not Canadian, but definitely we always look to bring inspirational speakers to our community and Hayley has always been on our wish list so we're so thrilled that she's fulfilled this big wish for us."

She said Wickenheiser is truly an accomplished Canadian hero.

"Hayley has graciously, through the generous support of our presenting sponsor NGL Supply Co. Ltd, to work with the foundation to host a youth event and also she'll be visiting and touring Bluewater Health," said Alexander. "We always think that's an important opportunity for our keynote speaker to come and become familiar with the cause that they're helping to raise money for, and also to meet and greet and thank the incredible and dedicated staff at Bluewater Health."

Details about the youth event are being finalized, and will be released at a later date.

Alexander said funds from the gala will support several priorities and projects at Bluewater Health and they're hoping to raise between $80,000 to $100,000 for the hospital.

"We're very optimistic for another sellout," she said. "We've been very fortunate in the past that we've brought remarkable, incredible, inspirational speakers to our gala and we love the format, the community response and generosity has been overwhelming. Last year sold out very, very quickly and we anticipate that this year will do the same."

The gala will be held on Thursday, May 18 at the Badger Hangar at Chris Hadfield Airport.

Tickets are $250 each and available by contacting Adelle Stewardson at 519-464-4439 or astewardson@bluewaterhealth.ca.

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