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Friend keeps hockey star's memory alive

Golf tournament in honour of Ryan Crowther to be held July 13
2018-05-22 Crowther fam.jpg
Ryan Crowther, shown with his wife, Sarah, and children, Ryley and Kylyn, died in November of 2016. He was 37. His friends and family members have organized the second annual Ryan Crowther Memorial Golf Tournament, slated for July 13 at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. Proceeds will go to an education fund for his children, to help raise awareness about concussions and to help support a local minor hockey, minor lacrosse and AAA hockey player.

Like so many young lads, Jeff Hopkins and Ryan Crowther shared a deep bond forged on hockey rinks in Orillia and beyond.

The two grew up playing minor hockey in Orillia and later became teammates when they skated for the city’s junior team, the Couchiching Terriers.

While Hopkins might have had more skill, Crowther had more grit.

“I knew he always had my back,” Hopkins said of the rugged rearguard who went on to a stellar career in the OHL and, later, in the United States. “We re-connected when we both returned to Orillia and rekindled our friendship … and our families became good friends.”

In November of 2016, Crowther, who was 37, died of a heart attack while in Chicago where he was coaching a North Central Predators AAA hockey team that was participating in a tournament in the Windy City.

“He was my age, we both have a young family … his death really hit home,” said Hopkins. “It can happen to anyone at any time. It’s just heartbreaking.”

In the wake of Crowther’s untimely and unexpected death, seeing and feeling the heavy loss in the eyes of his widow, Sarah, his children, his parents, siblings and wide circle of family and friends, Hopkins felt moved to do something to honour that memory.

“One day, my wife and I were talking about it and I kind of wondered: What could I do to help his kids and to do something to honour him?” said Hopkins. “In the end, we came up with the idea of having a golf tournament.”

Last year’s inaugural event attracted former teammates from all over North America and friends from far and wide. So, Hopkins has decided to make the event an annual affair.

The second annual Ryan Crowther Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club July 13.

Proceeds will be used to create an education fund for Ryan’s children and to sponsor a young athlete who would otherwise be unable to play AAA hockey with the Predators, minor hockey in Orillia or minor lacrosse in Orillia; Crowther played and coached for all three organizations.

Some proceeds will also be given to Concussion North in Barrie and Orillia Sports Medicine to improve concussion awareness and treatment options.

“Ryan suffered from post-concussion syndrome,” said Hopkins. “He really struggled the last few years and, as part of this initiative, we are hoping to raise awareness about this problem because it can happen to anyone.”

Cost to golf in the tournament is $125 per golfer and includes a barbecue lunch, 18 holes of golf, use of a cart, and a buffet dinner following golf. Singles, pairs and foursomes are welcome. If you are not a golfer but would like to participate, you can attend just the dinner for $30.

Hopkins is also looking for sponsorships – there are $100 and $200 options. “We can accommodate 36 foursomes and we’re really hoping it’s a sell-out,” said Hopkins.

If you want to register a foursome, click below:

https:// ryancrowthermemorialgolftourna crowther-memorial-golf- tournament-foursome/

If you want to attend dinner only, click below:

https:// ryancrowthermemorialgolftourna only-ryan-crowther-memorial- golf-tourney/

If you would like to sponsor the event or make a prize donation please contact the tournament organizers at [email protected].


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Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of
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