BARRIE, ONT. -- Eric Hawerchuk is honouring his late father’s memory through charity.

This weekend in Port Carling, Eric, the late Dale Hawerchuk’s eldest son, will hold the HawerchukStrong campaign’s first event since his father passed away two weeks ago following a year-long fight with stomach cancer.

“He was only 57. He didn’t get a chance to do everything he wanted to do,” said Eric, who started the initiative upon hearing of his father’s cancer diagnosis in August 2019.

“There’s a lot more people going through this battle than we realize. We know we’re not the only ones, and that’s part of why we wanted to start this HawerchukStrong initiative because there’s not enough awareness until it hits you, and it’s too late.”

Dale Hawerchuk completed chemotherapy treatment at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in April, but the cancer returned within months and had spread. He died on August 18, surrounded by loved ones at home.

The HawerchukStrong initiative has grown in support online selling shirts, hats and stickers to help fundraisers for local groups and those fighting cancer during the pandemic and raise awareness for the disease, which took the Hockey Hall of Famer and Barrie Colts head coach’s life.

“There’s a lot of charities that are kind of struggling right now because they can’t run their normal events due to COVID,” said Eric, a professional golfer who has competed on tours across North America.

Saturday’s event, sponsored by Barrie Colts owner Ward Seymour, will take place in the parking lot of the Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Hockey legends and colleagues of the late hockey great are expected to be in attendance.

“If you come by and make a donation, you’ll get a T-shirt. We’re going to have some stickers and stuff so we’d love see you guys and thank you personally for all your support,” said Eric.

“That was a big part of what my dad wanted before he passed. You know it’s almost been a distraction working on this project, and for that I’m grateful.”