Our friend, Tom Sutera, passed on February 12, 2021, after a two-year battle with stomach cancer. He is survived by his loving family, including his parents Thomas and Karen Sutera, loving girlfriend, Ashley Natti, daughter Rebecca Sutera, sister Sandra Sutera Martinelli, brother Robert Sutera and three nephews Escher, Lincoln, and Orson.
Tom was a native son of Chicago and was fiercely loyal to the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks. He developed a love for playing ice hockey at a young age while growing up in the midwest and continued to play adult league hockey within weeks of his passing. He was highly competitive and built a great rapport with anyone and everyone he played with and against, including the last 20 years at Skatetown Ice Arena in Roseville, CA.
This tight-knit community of hockey players was hit especially hard with the news of Tom's passing and wanted to do something in his honor while helping the No Stomach For Cancer cause that was so important to him. This led to creating the first annual Tom Sutera Memorial Hockey Tournament, which Kevin Torbik and Ken Adams organized.
The tournament was held on April 24, 2021, with a total of 4 teams and raised $3,500 to be donated to the No Stomach For Cancer charity. This would not have been possible without the generous donation of the facility and ice time from the Slavensky family, owners of Skatetown Ice Arena, as well as the referees who, selflessly, donated their time. The jerseys were designed to mimic the logos and colors of Tom's beloved Blackhawks and were generously provided and paid for by Kevin Pressey. Thank you all!
Tom wore the number "18" on his hockey jerseys, so each tournament game was preceded by an emotional 18-second moment of silence in his honor. In true Tom fashion, the games were competitive, fun, and spirited, which was the best way to honor our friend. The games were so competitive that the winning goal of the championship was scored with .01 seconds remaining in overtime to provide Team Blue, captained by Ken Adams, championship honors.
Next year, we look forward to an effort to do Tom proud in the Annual Tom Sutera Memorial Tournament!