Algoma Thunderbirds Support Cancer Research During Annual Cancer Awareness Weekend



Algoma Basketball takes on Ryerson & U of T at Home

The Algoma Thunderbirds basketball teams will be donning pink this Saturday at the George Leach Centre (GLC) in their annual Cancer Awareness Weekend event, sponsored by the Algoma University Alumni Council. Proceeds raised will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Four years after its inception, the annual Cancer Awareness Weekend has grown in support and dollars raised for the Canadian Cancer Society. “I encourage everyone to attend the Cancer Awareness Weekend event at the George Leach Centre,” said women’s Assistant Coach Pat Murray, and creator of the event. “Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, and this is great event for everyone to come together, raise awareness and funds, and support each other.”

Last year’s event raised $2500 for the Canadian Cancer Society and played host to a sold-out GLC. Last year’s event had special importance to the community of Algoma U, as the evening honoured current Athletic Director Mark Kontulainen, who was undergoing cancer treatment. Kontulainen, now in remission and healthy, attends every Thunderbirds game and is happy with the support he received from the University.

“The Cancer Awareness Weekend event was a happy occasion for both myself and my family, and I cannot thank Algoma University and the Thunderbirds program enough for their support. It’s nice to see the community coming together for such a great cause and supporting those undergoing what myself and my family went through last year. Events like the Cancer Awareness Weekend give you a break from the disease and put a smile on your face during a challenging time,” said Kontulainen.

Gate proceeds from Friday and Saturday evenings’ games will be split between the Algoma University Varsity Athletics Program and the Canadian Cancer Society. At half-time, Varsity Sports Coordinator Rachel Johnson will be cutting and donating her hair to cancer research. A silent auction will also be held. Donations will also be accepted with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Mr. Bon Soo is slated to conduct an honourary tip-off at 8:00pm against the Algoma Thunderbirds mascot, Boomer The Lightning Bolt. The Bud Light Bird’s Nest will also be open.

Prizes will be awarded for the most spirited fan of the night. The first 250 people at the GLC on Saturday night will receive a free “Shoot For The Cure” pink t-shirt sponsored by the Alumni Council and SK Group.

In a special ceremony on Saturday, the Algoma University Thunderbirds Varsity Athletics Program will also be honouring its senior basketball players on their annual Seniors Night.

On Friday, the Algoma Thunderbirds will be taking on the Ryerson Rams, followed by the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday. The women tip-off at 6:00pm, with the men taking to court at 8:00pm on both nights.

For more information on how you can donate, please contact Johnson at 705-949-2301, Ext 4512 or email at [email protected]

For more information on ticket pricing, please visit

About Algoma University

Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in Psychology, Social Work, Computer Science, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Community Economic & Social Development, and Biology in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins and St. Thomas. As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture. Algoma University has launched its Essential Elements Campaign to expand its campus and offer more scholarships and awards to students. To learn more, visit