The Vancouver Spirit Atom A1 took home the championship at this year’s Apex Winter Classic, but the big winner was B.C. Children’s Hospital, who will receive $42,000. (Contributed image)

Apex Winter Classic raises $42,419 for B.C. Children’s Hospital

The sixth annual charity hockey tournament welcomed 180 kids to the Okanagan

The Apex Winter Classic hockey tournament beat its previous fundraising record yet again.

In their sixth year of supporting B.C. Children’s Hospital, the tournament raised a total of $42,419.13.

“Year after year it is amazing to see how each team and the communities behind all of them support this event and a cause like BC Children Hospital Foundation,” said organizer Yannick Lescarbeau.

More than 130 atom level hockey players, kids ages nine and 10, drove up to Apex Mountain Resort to play hockey on the outdoor rink there.

READ MORE: Winter Classic Charity Hockey returns to Apex

Eight teams from across B.C. came to compete, and this year the Vancouver Spirit Atom A1 took the champion’s cup in their first time at the tournament. They beat the North Shore Winter Club’s WinterHawks for the title, while the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies picked up the bronze in their own overtime win against the Victoria RC Kings.

Over the six years of competition, the tournament has raised more than $160,000, which has all gone to support the B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Last year six teams, including two from Penticton and one from Kelowna, fielded 120 players for the tournament. The mix of players between the ages of eight and 10 were split into two divisions, Courage and Bravery.

This year, Mother Nature threatened to cancel the tournament with heavy snowfall that dropped on the mountain.

“Everyone involved from the Apex staff, tournament volunteers and organizers to parents and players made it happen with long hours of digging and shovelling,” said Lescarbeau. “In the end, the snow and weather made it such a fun, unique and unforgettable experience for all and that’s what makes this event so special.”

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