Athletes Helping Athletes
Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp
Clark Gillies and Bob Bourne appear to be bound for life by some seemingly unstoppable forces. Both born in Saskatchewan, Clark and Bob were both signed out of separate towns by major league baseball’s Houston Astros as potential first basemen (Clark was also a catcher). There, in Covington, Virginia, they played as 17-year-olds and their relationship began to be forged.
From baseball, to the WHL, to the New York Islanders, Clark and Bob had dozens of reasons to stay close. As eventual next door neighbors, their wives became close, and they have since gone on to see their kids, Justin (of Bob) and Brianna (of Clark) engaged in the summer of 2009.
Bob hosts the Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia – an event that brings in money for the Canadian Cancer Society, the Rick Hansen Foundation (spinal cord research), and provides the basic equipment for the sledge hockey team of his son, Jeff.
So, it only makes sense that Clark would be a major part of it. Simply put, Clark IS the entertainment. Along with a dozen other NHLers (six of which are in the Hall of Fame), Clark has taken time out of his busy schedule to help Bob raise money for the causes that are closest to his family. Anytime a large number of guys that don’t know each other are brought together for four days, it can be a little awkward until relationships are formed. Not with Clark there. Clark, as is his natural gift, breaks the tension at the meet/greet with his usual jovial nature and welcoming spirit. Throughout the event, no one is ever surprised to see him grab the microphone, tell some jokes, sing a song, or make more obvious contributions to charity, as seen below:
His mustache. At the encouragement of his daughter Brianna, Clark took the mic and held a live midnight auction in the hospitality room for the removal of his ever-present mustache. He managed to raise over $2,000 for two mustaches that evening (grabbing Bryan Trottier in the process, who also graciously shaved), money that was split between the Canadian Cancer Society and Rick Hansen Foundation.
From buying Dave Semenko’s jersey (a $500 donation to charity), to simply being the life of the party, Clark continues to bring the camp guests back year in, year out. It only makes sense that he has become such an integral part of Bob Bourne’s Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp.
Article Written by Justin Bourne