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Fletcher Cup scores big for Neilburg family

Hockey tournament turned fundraiser helps families with complex children.

NEILBURG – The Graham family of Neilburg are elated with the support they received with the help of the Fletcher Cup U9 hockey tournament.

The second Fletcher Cup was a huge success again, raising over $9,000. With teams from across the province, the Rosetown Red Wings were crowned champions at the end of the weekend-long event.

The tournament was originally organized by Travis Sorenson in 2023. Sorenson discovered his son’s hockey coach, Tyson Hobbins, had a son that needed to travel to Toronto for major surgery. The cost of the trip and other expenses started adding up for the Hobbins family, so Sorenson jumped into action. Collecting raffle and silent auction items and organizing a tournament in less than a month, Sorenson created the Fletcher Cup, in honour of Hobbins’ son. The first Fletcher Cup raised more than $10,000 for the Hobbins family and Make-a-Wish Foundation.

When Sorenson wanted to continue the tournament as a way to help other families with complex children, Fletcher’s mom Ashley, knew who the next recipients needed to be. Chad and Hannah Graham of Neilburg have two young boys, Joshua and Declan. Both boys have been diagnosed with I-Cell disease, also known as Muscolipidosis 2 (ML2), and with another little one on the way, the Grahams’ were finding travelling as a family was becoming quite crowded.

Children with ML2 require a lot more medical equipment and appointments. With the Grahams’ calling Neilburg home, those appointments are close to two hours away and require more than one day. When the family got the call about being the Fletcher Cup recipient, they family started to plan for a larger van.

“With all the boys' medical aids and equipment, the vehicle is pretty full,” said Hannah.

Since their initial story ran in the Unity-Wilkie Press Herald /, Chad and Hannah have made the decision to move to Indiana. There, a family with three daughters who have been diagnosed with ML2 has opened their home to them.

“We will have a lot more support there. One of the top hospitals that work with I-Cell children is in Indiana and is only an hour away from where we will be. There will also be a lot more children with I-Cell in the area, allowing the boys the freedom to interact with other kids,” said Hannah.

While she and her husband appreciated everything the communities have done for their families over the past years. The family will be making the move in early July and the Grahams are looking forward to the future with their children, however long that may be.