Hockey Rivals Team Up for Children's Hospital

For MTSoviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak, right, holding a jersey sold at last year's charity bash to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
In 1972, hockey brought Russia and Canada a little closer. The two Cold War rivals -- both hockey powerhouses -- played each other for the first time that year in the Summit Series.

Vladislav Tretiak, the young goalie who played for the Soviet Union in that seminal first tournament and went on to become a sports legend, is helping bring the two sides together again Tuesday night -- not on the ice but at a charity party to raise money for sick children.

The second annual charity cocktail party, silent auction and raffle at the Hotel National is expected to raise at least $11,000 for the Morozovskaya Children's Oncological Center, said Nathan Hunt, the president of the Canadian Business Association in Russia.

CBAR co-hosts the event with Tretiak's Friends of Canada Society.

Last year's party raised $5,500 for the Ronald McDonald House.

Tretiak has long had a special place in his heart for the Morozovskaya center, said Vera Terekhova, Tretiak's executive secretary at the Friends of Canada Society and the Vladislav Tretiak International Sports Academy.

"A few years ago, Vladislav Tretiak asked doctors in Moscow where money was most needed, and everyone said the Morozovskaya Center was in the worst situation," Terekhova said.

"The children need very expensive operations, so he decided to help them raise money and visit the children in the wards," she said. "We have great doctors but not a lot of money for good medicine."

Several months ago, Tretiak and Terekhova introduced Hunt to the patients and staff at the Morozovskaya center, and Hunt decided to back the hospital's oncological wing.

"The hospital will have to tell us what they want to spend the money on before we give them the money," Hunt said. "We've met a few times over the past few weeks, and this seems to be the best procedure for them too. They've already talked about some specific equipment that they might want to put the money toward for blood infusions."

Sixty people have registered for the cocktail party and silent auction via e-mail, and Hunt said he expects at least 15 more to drop in, including Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and Canadian Ambassador Rodney Irwin.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for a suggested donation of $50 to $100.

The evening includes a dinner buffet, a presentation by the Morozovskaya center and a piano recital in the National Hotel's VIP National Club.

KPMG Consulting is the evening's main sponsor.

While the entertainment is going on, guests can bid on several big-ticket items on the silent auction list, including hockey jerseys and a limited edition plate commemorating Tretiak's 50th birthday, all signed by the hockey player.

The raffle offers even more hockey memorabilia, much of it autographed, including flags, pucks, vodka bottles and medals for Tretiak's 50th birthday, hockey scarves, a framed poster from the 1972 series and Chicago Blackhawk paraphernalia.

Tickets for the raffle will be sold at the door for $5.

Hunt is optimistic that the items will fetch a pretty penny.

"Last year, the hockey memorabilia sold quite well," he said.

The Canadian Business Association in Russia's second annual charity cocktail party, silent auction and raffle, in conjunction with The Friends of Canada Society is to be held Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the VIP National Club in the Hotel National, 1 Tverskaya Street from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission is by donation. For more information please call Sylvia Van Sickle at 8-501-431-0806 or e-mail, or visit the CBAR web site,