Student's memory front and centre with drop of the ball

(Edmonton) In 2009, David Chapman says he and his friends went through the unimaginable. One of his best friends, Owen Schlosser, a student and varsity athlete at the University of Alberta, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. It progressed quickly and Schlosser died only four months after his diagnosis.

“It was a difficult time for our group of friends,” said Chapman, a master’s student in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. “It was the first time we ever experienced anything like that.”

Chapman and friends decided to keep Schlosser’s memory alive by putting on a fundraiser for an endowed research chair in skin cancer. This weekend they will host the second annual three-on-three street hockey tournament. A fitting tribute to an elite athlete, say organizers, as Schlosser played on the U of A’s tennis team.

The Win4Skin street hockey tournament is set for Saturday, June 4 this year. Thirty teams will play throughout the day. While some play, others can shop at a silent auction and there are also raffle tickets to buy for items such as mountain bikes, and an Edmonton Police Service Helicopter fly-along. After the games have wrapped, the fundraiser continues with a Las Vegas-themed dinner banquet with a fun money casino, where people can buy fake money to gamble and all the “real” money goes towards the cause.

Individual teams are also expected to fundraise. Last year’s tournament raised more than $30,000 and the goal is to hit $100,000 in the coming years. Top fundraising prizes in this year’s event include an iPad2 and a ski trip for the entire team, provided by Nomad Four Season Tours.

The money raised from the tournament will go towards the Mary Johnston Chair in Melanoma Research at the Cross Cancer Institute. Another portion of the funds goes to the Owen Schlosser Endowment Fund through the Edmonton Community Foundation to support underprivileged athletes in Edmonton.

“I think this is definitely an event that he would have loved to participate in so that’s one of the reasons why I’m doing it,” said Chapman. “He was a great athlete and a really healthy guy too, so I think an event that promotes healthy living—I think he’d be pretty happy about that.”

Further details of the event and recent updates can be found on the website, www.win4skin.com