Eganville – The 1st annual Lisa Sharpe Memorial 4-on-4 tournament hosted by the Eganville and District Minor Hockey Association (EDMHA) Sunday was a huge success according to president Kevin Seguin.

The tournament was held in memory of Lisa Sharpe, a devoted hockey mom and very special member of the greater Eganville community, who was found murdered in her home in the village on January 25.

The news rocked the community as Ms. Sharpe was a very well-known and longtime employee at Ketcha-Star Daycare as well as at Dr. Kathleen Doran’s chiropractic office in Eganville. When not working, she could be found at the arena or ballfield, cheering on her youngest son Leo. She was a tireless advocate for improved mental health services as her family dealt with the issue for several years.

Mr. Seguin shared earlier how the executive wanted to honour Ms. Sharpe in some manner and it was decided to do that with a 4-on-4 tournament.

“It went off without a hitch and there were smiles all around,” he said. “Overall, it was a darn good day.”

He said attendance was steady all day long, from the 7:45 a.m. when the official puck drop ceremony took place to the presentation of the hardware to the winning team at 4 p.m.

“There was a constantly large crowd all day long,” he noted. “We started on time and finished on time, and the arena was pretty full all day.”

While the memory of what created the tournament was very much on the minds of those present, he said the mood was uplifting and happy for the most part.

“We knew what we were there for and the reason behind it,” he explained. “Staring off the day, there were some hugs, and maybe you could call them joyous tears for what was going on that day.

“Lisa’s mom, dad, sister, were there and they were all overwhelmed by the outpouring from the community, to show up for an event like this” he added. “Overall, the spirits were very good and I think it did the community proud to celebrate her through hockey.”

Six teams competed, each one having at least five games, with some having as many as seven. He said the teams were comprised of players from AA Aces to house league and there was an incredible display of sportsmanship throughout the day.

“Not once was there one who thought he was better than the other. They played together; they passed the puck. There was huge smiles all around and that was inspirational.”

He thanked the various team sponsors and everyone who had made donations of cash and prizes for the various raffles which were very well supported, as well as the breakfast the EDMHA served.

“The people knew what they were there for and supported every aspect of it,” Mr. Seguin remarked.

“We don’t have final numbers of what we raised, but I can safely say several thousand dollars were raised,” he stated.

Parents of murder victim overwhelmed with community support

By Gerald Tracey
News Editor

Eganville — As the parents of Lisa Sharpe continue to mourn the loss of their beloved daughter, they continue to be comforted by the outpouring of support from many people including those in the community that was Lisa’s home for a quarter of a century.

Following the official puck-dropping ceremony to open the first annual Lisa Sharpe Memorial Hockey Tournament here Sunday, her dad, Terry Sharpe, spoke about how unbelievable Bonnechere Valley Township and the Village of Eganville has been in so many ways over the past several weeks.

“You know I talk to different people around the province and some of them are familiar with Eganville and they all come back with the same thing: Eganville is a special place,” the retired Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant said.

“I talked to a lady who was asked to come and teach here and she didn’t want to come to Eganville,” he recalled. “But she came and said, ‘I was only there for six months’ and said ‘I’m never leaving’.

“So what does that tell you about Eganville?”

With the noise of the first hockey game audible in the background along with cheering from the stands, Mr. Sharpe spoke candidly about how grateful he and his wife, Donna, are for the support they have received since that tragic night on January 25 when Ontario Provincial Police officers responded to a 911 call at her Maple Street home and found Ms. Sharpe deceased. Her eldest son, Trey Gagnon, who has a long history of mental illness, was arrested the following morning on Highway 60 about three km west of Eganville.

Ms. Sharpe was a longtime staff member at Ketcha Star Daycare here and also worked part-time for chiropractor, Dr. Kathleen Doran.

Sunday’s tournament was organized by the Eganville and District Minor Hockey Association as a way to remember and honour Ms. Sharpe whose younger son, Leo, plays in the system. The tournament also raised several thousand dollars which is being donated to the Phoenix Centre at the request of her parents.

“This is unbelievable,” Mr. Sharpe said as the referee blew the whistle to stop play after a save was made by one of the goaltenders. “The prizes and the comments on Facebook….”

The Sharpes are continuing to heal from the tragedy and their loss, and while events such as the tournament bring back vivid memories of January 25, he said they will never forget.

“Hopefully things will settle down a wee bit so we can continue to heal,” he remarked. “We are glad for this day, but by the same token it’s an emotional time, it’s a constant reminder.”

Frequently, the Sharpes are surprised by various acts of kindness. Recently, they received a painting from a woman in Blind River. The painting was done in memory of Lisa and featured daisies and a monarch butterfly.

“And she said ‘wild as a daisy, beautiful as a butterfly’ and that was Lisa. That was great.”

On another day there was a knock on the door at their Pembroke home. The person asked if he was Terry Sharpe and when he replied yes, he handed him a cheque. When he expressed his gratitude and asked who he was, he replied, “I just want to give a cheque.”

The cheque is for an education fund that was established for youngest son, Leo, in the days following the death of his mother. So far the fund has raised almost $20,000. It is still open and anyone wishing to donate can mail a cheque to: Terry Sharpe, 208 Isabella Street, Pembroke, ON K8A 5S9. The cheque can be made out in Mr. Sharpe’s name or his grandson’s name, marked “Leo’s Education Fund”.

The Sharpes recently received a letter from a man in southern Ontario who shared that his grandson is going through the same turmoil as the Sharpe’s grandson is experiencing.

“And he sent a cheque that was an unbelievable amount and said he understands what we are going through and he fears for the same thing. He said the mental health system right now is just lip service. It’s broken.”

The Sharpe’s suggested funds from the first tournament be donated to the Phoenix Centre and said if the tournament continues, which organizers say it will, future proceeds will be directed to different mental health agencies in the county.