President’s Cup hits the ice to benefit United Way

By Lindsay Ducharme

Forget the NHL’s battle of Alberta; the battle of Fort McMurray took place on October 25th when Syncrude and Suncor Energy took to the ice in benefit of United Way.  The President’s Cup hockey challenge has been a community staple since the “friendly rivalry” competition began in 1980.

“The President’s Cup is one of the highlights of the community’s United Way campaign,” said Mark Little, executive vice president, Oil Sands and In Situ, Suncor Energy. “It’s a chance to cheer on your friends, family members and co-workers as they compete for championship bragging rights while raising money for a worthwhile cause.”

Syncrude President and CEO Scott Sullivan added that the real winner each year is United Way.

Each company was heavily represented both on the ice and in the stands.  In addition to a 26-player rooster, 12 executives from both companies participated in a management shootout challenge.

“It went very well, I mean Suncor would say it went better because they won, but everyone had a great time,” said Syncrude spokesperson Will Gibson.

“We don’t have the total amount raised yet, but it was a very successful even,t with all the money raised going towards our United Way employee fundraising goal, which is 2.013 million this year.”

Gibson said Syncrude’s long-standing involvement in the event is a testament to their employee’s dedication to serving the community. “Our employees are great supporters of United Way because of all the great things United Way does within the community.  We see supporting United Way as part of being a good neighbour.”

“We are a Fort McMurray based company, most of our 5,000 employees live here and so we want to find ways to make this community better and our employees want to find ways to make this community better and supporting the wonderful work that United Way does is one way that we do that.”

“We contribute to United Way annually because we think that they do great work in this community, which we see through the countless agencies they support.  We are happy to be able to help.  It’s really our employees, they are the ones that organize these events, volunteer for them and support them, it’s a huge tip of the cap to our employees for their fundraising efforts,” he continued.

Syncrude and Suncor were not the only organizations supporting United Way at the event; the Fort McMurray Ringette Association ran a sock toss, Country 93.3’s Jerry Neville served as announcer and members of the Generation Dance studio helped pump up the crowd with their surprise flash mob.

The United Way of Fort McMurray is in the midst of their 2013 ten week fundraising campaign.  The main goal of the campaign is to provide United Way funded agencies with the capacity to do the work they set out to do in the community. The United Way relies on fundraising efforts in order to reach their goal each year.  This year their fundraising goal has been set at 7.8 million.

For more information on the United Way campaign or to donate visit their website at