A memorial hockey tournament was held at the Warkworth Community Centre remembering a youth who was raised in his community and achieved his dream of becoming a police officer.
Travis Gillespie was just 38-years-old when he was killed by an alleged drunk driver on his way to work as a York Regional Police on September 14, 2022.
Gillespie was born and raised in Cramahe Township and spent his time growing up playing hockey at the Warkworth Community Centre.
The 12-hour tournament raised funds for something close to Gillespie’s heard – Hearts for Martial Arts and the Warkworth Minor Hockey Association.
On Saturday, March 11, 2023, family, friends, co-workers and strangers came out to support the fallen officer and his causes towards the community in the first annual Travis Gillespie Memorial Hockey Tournament that kicked off at 8 a.m. at the Warkworth Community Centre and ended with the last game at 7 p.m.
“On behalf of Travis; who put his life on the line every day and generously volunteered his time to make a difference in his community. With his countless deeds of kindness, always giving and never expecting any favours in return; it’s our turn to give back on his behalf,” is what the tournament was all about.
Travis’ brother Dan, who was one of the founders of the tournament said the day was about making money for some kids to go out and play some team sports.
“Today’s event is about Travis, my brother who was hit by an (alleged) drunk driver. We’re here today to come together as a community, not just Trav’s local community growing up, but also the community he’s expanded out too in Toronto and York Regional. We want to have some fun, remember Travis and we want to raise some money for some kids – because that was important to Travis.”
Travis and his brother grew up playing hockey behind his parent’s house as kids, but they also grew up playing hockey at the Warkworth Community Centre playing hockey “with actual referees.”
“This is where we made a lot of memories. We learned our building bridges, skills for life. Being part of a team.”
Dan said he can’t thank the people who’ve supported the event enough and said as the tournament continued, “Travis is smiling down on all of us right now.”
As the Shiloh Sheep Dogs hit the ice for the first time, Dan told Today’s Northumberland from the bench that, “it’s a little exciting on the nerves because we’re all here having fun – but it’s starting to get competitive.”
“It feels good to be out here. It’s going to be a good day.”
Upstairs there were a number of backed goods and items up for silent auction.
In the stands were a number of family members of Travis cheering on the tournament including his parents, Robert and Lori along with Travis’ wife Katrina.
Peterborough County OPP Sgt. Marc Gravelle know Travis and took part in the tournament on Saturday.
“Travis was a hometown boy known in Warkworth and the Brighton area and a friend of mine. This is a testament to his personality and his legacy. Hard working guy, great community person and very loving person. All the people are playing here are friends of his, relatives of his, co-workers of his and everybody wanted to get together to celebrate him.”
Gravelle said it was a great place to have it and a great community event.
“He would love it. He’s smiling right now. He would love the music and competitiveness and he’d love all the people being here.”
The exact total raised and who won will be announced when information becomes available.