The Rogers Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction is an annual must-attend event in London, Ont. The volunteer-organized event is an evening celebrating sports and creating opportunities for children and youth to reach beyond disability.
The 60th Dinner and Auction will take place on February 23rd, 2016 in support of the Thames Valley Children’s Centre.
To learn more about the event, visit the Rogers Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction website by clicking here.
Head Table Guests
Darryl Sittler (HHOF ’89)
Drafted by the Leafs eighth overall in 1970, Darryl Sittler saw limited action in his first two pro years. In 1972-73, this changed when he finished with 77 points. In 1975, he became the second youngest captain in Leafs history. That season was probably one of Sittler’s best as he finished with 100 points and recorded the single best offensive effort by a player in NHL history. Sittler registered 6 goals and four assists in an 11-4 win over the Bruins. In 1977-78, he earned 117 points and helped the team make the semi-finals. However, the 80’s saw strained relations between Sittler and Leafs’ owner in Harold Ballard. This culminated in a trade to Philadelphia in 1983, where Sittler netted 83 points and a place on the All-Star team. He played a final year in Detroit before retiring in 1985.
After playing a season with the WHA’s Birmingham Bulls, Rick Vaive was selected fifth overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1979. He only played half of a season on the West Coast before moving to the Maple Leafs. Although the 80’s weren’t kind to Toronto, Vaive gave the Leafs Nation something to cheer about: he became the first Leaf to score 50 goals in a season and then continued to do so for the next three seasons in a row. He was captain of the Leafs until he was traded to Chicago in 1987. Vaive spent a season and a half there before moving to Buffalo for three seasons. He retired from the NHL in 1992 and has served as a head coach in the OHL and AHL, as well as director of hockey operations for the ECHL. Vaive currently hosts various shows on Leafs TV, an MLSE-run property focusing on the Toronto Maple Leafs. His son, Justin Vaive, was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
If there is a player who inspires near-hysteria among the Leafs Nation, it is Doug Gilmour. Selected by St. Louis in the seventh round, he eventually started in 1983 when the Blues’ depleted roster required a call-up. Nicknamed ‘Killer’ for his intensity, Gilmour played like a man much larger. After five seasons and the1987 Canada Cup tournament, the Blues traded Gilmour to Calgary. That year, he was a star in the playoffs (22 points in 22 games) and the Flames won their sole Stanley Cup. After three more seasons, he was traded to Toronto in the biggest deal in league history. In his first full season, he earned 127 points, a Maple Leaf franchise record and still won the Frank Selke trophy for best defensive forward! The Leafs made him captain in 1994, which he remained until he was traded to New Jersey in 1997. He then bounced between Chicago, Buffalo and Montreal before returning to Toronto. In 1656 games, he finished with 510 goals and 1092 assists for 1602 points. Doug is currently the General Manager of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs.