Players, coaches and staff members of the two-time defending National Lacrosse League Champion Rochester Knighthawks gathered at the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation’s Gala last Thursday night for one last celebration before the 2014 season. Players Dan and Paul Dawson, Cody Jamieson, Craig Point, Brad Self, Matt Vinc; coaches Mike Hasen, Jason Johnson, Paul Day and Andy Secore; and Knighthawks President Lewis Staats and his wife, Wendy, were all on hand to join Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres at the Gala. Former Knighthawk and 2013 NLL MVP Shawn Evans (Calgary Roughnecks) was also in attendance.
“It was awesome even being at the event. It’s always a great time,” said Point. “I’ve gone to the event the past three or four years and you never know what to expect with the set up. Being recognized for our two straight NLL championships and our Mann Cup felt great. I know a lot of people are proud of us for our achievements. It’s just an honor and a privilege knowing who you are, where you’re from and the people you win with.”
“I was honored to attend the Dreamcatcher Gala. It’s a great foundation that makes dreams come to reality for Aboriginal people,” said Evans. “It’s a first-class event and a lot of fun to be a part of.”
The annual celebration brings together athletes, celebrities and stars to raise money for the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation, which provides support to the Aboriginal community through grants to individuals with a goal of developing youth as future community leaders. Paul Dawson was very impressed on his first trip to the event.
“(Had a) great night at the Dreamcatcher Gala! Great cause! Thanks to owner Curt Styres for the invite,” he tweeted via @bigdaws02.
Some of the celebrities on hand included Emmanuel Lewis, Jeremiah Bitsui from the critically-acclaimed television series Breaking Bad, Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Gilmore, former Rochester American Don Cherry — winner of three Calder Cups with the Amerks -– Toronto Maple Leafs’ 1985 first-overall pick Wendel Clark, Shawn McQuiller from Kool and the Gang, Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas, Bronson Pelletier from The Twilight Saga and Serena Ryder.
Receiving an award for his outstanding contributions in sports included pro golfer Jesse Smith, who has been sponsored by the Knighthawks on the PGA Tour of Canada. The late actor and Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Famer Jay Silverheels, who played “Tonto” in The Lone Ranger, and former Boston Bruins star Stan Jonathan were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Styres and his business partners founded the Dreamcatcher Foundation in 2004 to help make an impact on the lives of native youths, and to support their dreams through funding for education and athletics. Thousands of people have been helped over the last nine years. The annual Gala helps raise money for the Foundation while recognizing individual role models who have made outstanding contributions in their fields.
“It was a first-class event honoring some great Native American people,” said Self. “The Foundation does amazing things and creates great opportunities for people. I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend.”
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