NHL player Logan Couture to host charity event to raise funds for concussion research

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Londoners will get an opportunity to use their best poker faces to help fund concussion research and rehabilitation.

San Jose Sharks centre Logan Couture has announced he will host the first annual “All-in for Brain Research” charity casino on Wednesday, August 16 at Centennial Hall in London.

“You try not to think about [injuries],” Couture said. “Hockey is a physical sport, and injuries happen. I think the biggest thing for concussions and head injuries is at the minor hockey level with kids. You see too many times kids not being diagnosed with a concussion coming back too early and being injured again. If money can go into research in this city, it can only help.”

All proceeds from the event will go toward concussion awareness and programs run by the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic at Western University.

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The event is the first of its kind in London and will be black-tie optional for those who want to look the part.

The list of hockey celebrities scheduled to take part already includes Eric Lindros, current San Jose Sharks forward (and former London Knights captain) Chris Tierney and Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean, as well as Olympians Derek Drouin (gold medalist in high jump) and Damian Warner (bronze medalist in decathlon).

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Dr. Arthur Brown was nicknamed “Dr. Sunshine” by Eric Lindros because he was the only person Lindros encountered who had a positive outlook on concussions when Lindros was suffering through the after-effects of head injuries sustained while playing hockey.

Brown has devoted his life to concussion research, but says you can’t measure the impact that occurs when sports stars like Couture get involved in the cause.

“It’s really important to have someone like Logan or someone like Eric Lindros drawing attention to the whole matter of concussion, first of all in the form of public awareness,” he said.

“The public needs to know about concussion, and what to do when they have a concussion. They also need to know that there are things to do — that it’s not bleak. And then to have their names and their faces drawing attention means money, and that money goes to support research… so it’s the future.”

The plan is for the charity night to become an annual event.

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The Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic expects more than 4000 visits from patients who have concussions this year alone. “Monies raised [by the charity casino] will allow us to expand our treatment, rehabilitation and research activities,” said the centre’s medical director, Dr. Robert Litchfield.

Event organizers plan to have a red-carpet entrance out front of Centennial Hall, which will give attendees a chance to meet some of the stars involved.

For more information about the event, contact event chairperson Jeff Fischer at jeff@fischer.associates.

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