BUFFALO, N.Y. — It doesn't get much more Western New York than raising money at a homegrown hockey tournament for Roswell Park.
"Unfortunately, everyone has been touched by cancer somehow some way through friends or family, and it's just a way to give back," Chris Taggert, the director of the Backyard Classic, said.
Around 80 teams featuring more than 500 skaters compete against each other at Canalside. Organizers expect to raise around $15,000.
"We just love playing the game to raise money at the same time. It's just the dream," Anthony Overfield, a player in the tournament, said.
For some the tournament takes on a greater meaning, though.
"I have a couple people close to met that go to Roswell," player John Gara said.
The Backyard Classic has humble beginnings. It started in a literal backyard in East Auora. Now in its 11th year, the games are played at Canalside and the amount of money raised increases every year.
Taggert said the Backyard classic is the perfect representation of the City of Good Neighbors.
"The old saying it takes a community. It takes a community. It takes a village," he said.
Medals are given out to the winning teams. Although, most here can agree it's not about winning or losing. It's about the cancer patients and their families.