4th annual Jacob Ranton memorial basketball tournament

It was a packed house in the auditorium at the Waterloo Collegiate Institute (WCI) on Friday, December 14 as staff, students and members of the community gathered to hear from former NHL goalie, Clint Malarchuk. His speech kicked off the 4th Annual Jacob Ranton Memorial Basketball Tournament, held in memory of Doug and Sandra Ranton’s late son who lost his life to suicide.

The event benefits the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) and has raised over $110,000 in the past three years. This year’s silent auction featured over 160 donated items, offering plenty of choice for attendees looking to make a difference while completing their holiday shopping.

All proceeds raised from the silent auction will be donated to Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council.

The basketball tournament side of the event, co-hosted this year by WCI and the Bluevale Collegiate Institute, included teams from across the region. Before the tournament kicked off, players, coaches and members of the public had a chance to hear Malarchuk speak.

WCI basketball player competes in the 4th annual Jacob Ranton tournament.

He shared his lifelong struggle with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and explained that although it wasn’t always a negative influence, after his traumatic injury in 1989, things took a turn for the worse.

“I could hardly leave the house,” he said. “I suffered in silence. I didn’t tell anybody.”

Malarchuk asked those in the audience to reach out and seek help if they are struggling, and to be observant for signs of friends and family who may be struggling too.

Cavell Johnson, Head Coach of the KW Titans, also joined the event to speak at the opening ceremony. An emotional Johnson shared the story of losing his brother, Aaron, to suicide in 2017. He urged the students in the audience to open their hearts and listen to friends and family who may be struggling themselves. “We don’t have to go through anything alone,” Johnson said.

Cavell Johnson speaks to the crowd about the importance of reaching out to those who may need help.

Doug and Sandra Ranton are determined to continue fundraising for the WRSPC in the hopes that no one else feels alone with their mental illness.

“We will continue to tell our story so that Jacob’s life matters,” said Doug.

The Ranton family speaks to a packed house at the kick off for the annual tournament.

If you’d like to contribute to the fundraising efforts of the 4th Annual Jacob Ranton Memorial Basketball Tournament, the campaign will continue until December 31st.