REYNOLDSVILLE — A roller hockey tournament later this month will help raise money for an area child who is battling cancer.
The 2019 Randy Carlson Tournament, scheduled for Jan. 26, will benefit 2-year-old Bentley Landis, of DuBois, who is currently undergoing the initial stages of chemotherapy in his fight against acute leukemia, according to Bob Anderson.
The proceeds from this event will be donated to his parents, Kali Martell and Andrew Landis, who have been busy traveling between DuBois and Pittsburgh for treatment, Anderson said.
The Reynoldsville Rollerdrome, Xtreme Hockey League (XHL), Dan’s Pro Shop, and other local businesses are teaming up again to host the roller hockey tournament to raise proceeds for charity.
Carlson was a member of the XHL before losing his battle with melanoma in 2005. His dedication and passion to hockey and life rubbed off on many of the players he competed for and against during his time in the league, Anderson said.
The XHL has kept his legacy alive by holding the tournament in his memory and by donating the profits to a cancer charity in his name.
The tournament is classified as an ironman as teams are only allowed to have four players and a goalie – there are no subs allowed.
This type of tournament tests skill and stamina, he said.
The league first held the tournament in 2005 and 2006 in honor of Carlson. The event was resurrected in 2010 with the reopening of the Reynoldsville Rolledrome. It was then that the tournament began raising money for charity.
“The tournament has really grown in size and scope over the years,” Anderson said, noting that it has raised more than $10,000 since its inception. “It started as a way to remember our friend, Randy. Since then it has become a means to raise money for cancer-related causes. We seem to add something new every year.”
The 2019 competition will feature 18 teams and 90 players, the biggest turnout yet, he said.
The games will begin at 7:30 a.m. Three divisions of six teams will compete in a round-robin format. The results from these games will determine seeding for a single-elimination tournament that will conclude around 5:30 p.m. Players from the surrounding area will compete but so will teams from areas like Tyrone, Altoona, and even Buffalo.
The tournament is held each year at the Reynoldsville Rollerdrome.
Dave and Jennifer Schuckers, the owners of the rink, provide free entrance for players for the event. Dan’s Pro Shop provides T-shirts at a reduced cost and members of the XHL participate in the event.
Bob and Summer Anderson are co-chairpersons and organize the tournament and prizes.
Players and spectators make donations to raise money for charity, Anderson said.
“It is an honor to help a local family while doing something we all love,” Anderson said. “Bentley’s battle is just beginning, as he’s scheduled for treatments for his cancer that will last until 2021, but we want his family to know they aren’t alone. We want to do what we can to help.”
When Summer Anderson contacted Bentley’s mother about the fundraiser, Kali said she was “blown away.”
“Bentley’s diagnoses with ALL was a shock to say the least,” Kali said. “It all happened so fast and was very devastating. I was like any other mother, or person for that matter, that thinks something like that could never happen to me or my family. So when it did, it hit hard.”
The first 10 days the family spent in Pittsburgh were very trying times and Kali said she watched Bentley go through things no child should ever have to go through.
“But Bentley is nothing short of amazing. He has handled everything thus far with flying colors and has even surprised his doctors quite a few times,” Kali said.
Kali said the family had T-shirts made for Bentley with the Batman logo because he is their super hero.
“We had a lot of interest in them and actually ended up selling 135 shirts in total. I was so moved by how many people that I didn’t even personally know reached out and bought a shirt to help support him and our family,” Kali said.
She also said Martin’s, where she works, organized four huge hot dog sales for support following Bentley’s diagnosis. Bentley’s father and her fiance’ works at Italian Oven and they held a “tip day” for the family recently.
One of Kali’ friends who works at Merle Norman Boutique also organized a “Kids Hair Cut Day” to help with travel costs.
“I have honestly been at a loss for words with how much support we have been receiving and I will be forever grateful for everyone that has reached out as well,” Kali said.
Currently, the family is making trips to Pittsburgh every 10 days but the time spans will change with each phase of treatment.
“But we got our light at then end of the tunnel and his very last day of treatment will be Dec.3, 2021,” Kali said.
Members of the community are welcome to attend and donate to the event. There is no entry fee to get into the Rollerdrome.
An auction will be held in the morning and early afternoon of the event. Most of the money for the event will be raised through this auction.
Past tournament winners and money raised:
- 2018 – Jarrod Currin, Joe Bussard, Mike Jacobson, Derik Day, Adam McKinley –$2,200
- 2017 – Eric Llewellyn, Steve Kalgren, Andy Calvert, Jeremiah Morris, Cory Schuckers –$1,800
- 2016 –Rob Stanley, Eric Llewellyn, Kevin Smith, Andy Calvert, Henry Sutter –$850
- 2015 –Rob Stanley, Kevin Smith, Dave Jewell, Derik Day, Rob Keith –$1,000
- 2014 –Joe Bussard, Derik Day, Henry Deible, Greg Mohney, Adam McKinley –$1,000
- 2013 –Derik Day, Joe Bussard, Greg Mohney, Henry Deible, Adam McKinley –$1,300
- 2012 –Brian Anderson, Dave Jewell, Bob Anderson, Brandon Reiter, Rob Keith –$650
- 2011 – Ryan Carlson, Jason Iseler, Josh Sanford, Adam McKinley, Rob Stanley –$650
- 2010 Kevin Smith, Cody Schuckers, Dave Jewell, Clay Halpin –$615
- 2006 Jason Iseler, Josh Stanford, Todd Carlson, Ryan Carlson, Rob Keith
- 2005 Jason Iseler, Josh Stanford, Todd Carlson, Ryan Carlson, Rob Keith