Former Vernon Viper Aaron Volpatti undertook a test of physical endurance last summer. He did it for ALS research, and for his father.
A year later, he’s been named the recipient of a 2020 Exceptional Fundraising Program Award, presented by the ALS Society of B.C.
The award recognizes excellence in fundraising programs over the past 12 months, a time period in which Volpatti completed his first ever Ironman Canada triathlon in support of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The triathlon in Whistler last July saw Volpatti finish in 11:25 hours.
Volpatti’s father, Tony, was diagnosed with ALS in 2016.
There is no cure for ALS, which causes those who live with it to become gradually paralyzed. An estimated 3,000 Canadians live with ALS currently, and 80 per cent of those with the disease die within two to five years of diagnosis, according to ALS Canada.
Volpatti’s Ironman campaign raised $27,300. Of that total, $4,000 was brought in by a family effort, selling homemade cabbage rolls by the hundreds.
Due to COVID-19, the society’s annual awards was replaced with individual presentations. Volpatti, along with his son Finn, was presented with a trophy by the society’s executive director.
Volpatti, 35, skated for the Vipers in the early 2000s and went on to play 112 with the Vancouver Canucks in the National Hockey League.