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Fund-raising for Pat Burns Arena tops $1 million after gala

The Canadian Press

3/8/2011 2:52:41 PM

A night of music and an auction of hockey memorabilia raised about $20,000 towards the construction of an arena named after former NHL coach Pat Burns.

His cousin, Robin Burns, said the event Monday night at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto helped lift total fund-raising efforts thus far to more than $1 million.

The facility in Stanstead, Que., that is scheduled to open in September will be called the Pat Burns Arena in honour of the three-time NHL coach of the year who died in November from cancer.

The federal and Quebec governments together pledged two-thirds of the roughly $8-million cost. The city of Stanstead is trying to raise the rest through private donations. Robin Burns said about $1.2 million remains to be raised.

He said a similar tribute is being planned in Montreal.

Items put up in a silent auction included one of Sidney Crosby's jerseys from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as well as two signed Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys.

There was also a signed jersey from former Montreal Canadiens star Guy Lafleur, one of goaltender Martin Brodeur's sticks, some paintings of Burns and tickets for home games of three of the four teams he coached -- Montreal, Toronto and Boston.

"It's going great, certainly people have been very generous," Robin Burns said.