Oilympics: An Oilpatch Classic

Date PublishedOctober 3, 2013
Article AuthorMaria Gisondo
Article TypeJune 2013 Issue
CategoryArticles, The Beat, Uncategorized
PULSE Interactive

Oilympics: An Oilpatch Classic

Twenty years ago, a group of guys from the oil patch in Calgary organized a week-long hockey tournament and invited players from the industry to sign up. They raised some money and decided to donate the humble amount to charity. The Executive Committee of Dale Hansen, John Nash, and John Ruzicki were shortly thereafter joined by Gerry Mumford. They never thought Oilympics would become what it is today: a classic oil patch fundraiser that supports local charities. More and more people started to hear about the event and soon Oilympics was raising large sums of money for local charities every year. About three years ago, Alex Halat, Ryan Knievel and Scott Logan joined the Oilympics Executive Committee.

After the success of the 2012 – Oilympics Break-Cup Hockey Tournament and the Hockey Marathon (World’s Longest Game) that raised together over $2 million – the bar was set high. In 2013, Oilympics celebrated 20 years of bringing the industry together and raising money for great charities, sometimes inspired by the stories of our own players and their families.

The 20th Annual Oilympics Break-Cup Hockey Tournament decided to support the CJAY 92 Kids Fund – Secret Wish, the YMCA Calgary – Strong Kids, and the Huntington Society of Canada. Over the last 19 years the Oilympics have raised over $3.2 million for several charities throughout our community.

The Oilympics featured a Kick-Off Dinner event on March 16th followed by a 5-day hockey tournament that ran from March 17th to 21st at the Flames Community Arenas. Funds were raised through corporate and individual sponsorships of the teams and donated silent and live auction items.

The tourney included great hockey all week – with a variety of NHL Alumni playing together with over 350 players from the oil patch – and a fun family day that included family skate, BBW and face-painting. Everyone won at this tournament by giving back to our community while having some fun.


Oilympics Committee Members Left to Right:

John Ruzicki, Cathedral Energy Services
Gerry Mumford, Continental Alloys & Services
Dale Hansen, Cobar Metals
Alex Halat, Star Valley
Ryan Knievel, Red Dog Drilling
Scott Logan, Summit Liability Solutions
John Nash, Canadian Energy Services




2013 Charities Benefitting From This Tournament



The Secret Wish program began as a Christmas initiative. The holiday season is a difficult time for many families who cannot afford a lavish dinner or presents for their children.

CJAY 92 decided to help out by providing toys for the kids, in addition to specifically needed items such as winter coats and cash. The challenge is that hardship doesn’t just occur at Christmas; it’s year round. So now CJAY 92 does a Secret Wish every Friday at 7:40am.

Listeners nominate families who are going through tough times for a Secret Wish. The families we assist are often facing bleak circumstances due to illness or disabilities. The Gerry Forbes Secret Wish is not a contest but rather Calgarians helping Calgarians. The Secret Wish is funded by the CJAY 92 Kids Fund; therefore, we only help families with children and limit Secret Wish recipients to the Calgary area.



Our YMCA Strong Kids Campaign provides much needed financial support to children and youth in our community who are unable to afford the full cost of access and participation in a YMCA program or activity. We help children and youth have positive experiences, make healthy choices, feel connected with others, and learn the skills required to become the leaders of today and tomorrow. One out of every four children and youth who enter our facilities are in need of and receive financial assistance. Our mandate is ‘WE NEVER TURN A CHILD AWAY’.

Last year Strong Kids helped over 20,000 children and youth experience a YMCA program, whether it was basketball, leadership, camp, swim lessons or membership. 100% of all donations go directly to supporting the children and youth.



The Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) is the only Canadian health charity dedicated to providing help and hope for families dealing with Huntington’s Disease (HD) across Canada. HSC represents a national network of volunteers and professionals united in the fight against HD since 1973. We strive to: maximize the quality of life of people living with HD by delivering services, advocating for HD families, increasing awareness, and supporting further research leading to treatments to slow and to prevent Huntington’s disease.



Maria Gisondo
(403) 815-1680

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