MONTREAL – West Enders gathered at the Royal West Academy in NDG for the annual “Sam Jam” street hockey tournament.
The event was started eleven years ago by Sam Lazarus’s family after he died of Malaria while working at a daycare in Ghana in 2004.
“We decided to set up a fund,” explained his mother Janet Torge. “Every Sunday when Sam was alive, he used to come down here and play street hockey, every Sunday morning, in the summer. And so we started this street hockey jamboree.”
Torge said Sam was passionate about working with children, so all proceeds raised go to help less fortunate children in Quebec attend Camp Kanawana in Saint-Sauveur.
Every year the tournament also has a celebrity drop the puck for the final game of the tournament. This year it was actor Jay Baruchel, who has appeared in Million Dollar Baby, Tropic Thunder, and Knocked Up.
“I grew up in this part of the world,” said Baruchel. “A bit further East, but still the West side and so it’s just a fun day with a bunch of West end kids for a good cause and all that stuff and really, I have to do very little. I show up, I take a few photos, I drop a ceremonial ball.”
“We do this every year and it’s just a lot of fun,” said Torge. “People of all ages come — camp kids come, old people come, babies come. It’s just really a lot of fun.”
Torge said she’s thrilled the event has been doing so well. Over the years, Sam Jam has managed to raise over $250 thousand.