Lions Cup raises $290,000 in support of York’s graduate students and student athletes

President with cheerleaders and mascot at golf tournament.
President with golf tournament leads
Above, from left: Mamdouh Shoukri, president & vice-chancellor, York University; Jorge Cardelus, relationship manager, Affinity Market Group, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex; Garreth Barkey, site supervisor, Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.; Sheereen Harris, fourth-year student and scholarship recipient; Brett Latham, project manager, Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.; Guy Burry, event co-chair; Greg Stack, event co-chair; David Kirkland, chief operating officer, Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.; Ignat Kaneff, chairman, Kaneff Group of Companies; Jeff O’Hagan, vice-president advancement, York University

At York University, students come first. As the University strives to attract and retain the best and brightest, it is important to provide students with support both in and outside the classroom. That is why each year members of York’s growing community of friends, alumni and supporters come together for the Lions Cup Golf Tournament.

More than $290,000 in student financial support was raised at the 14th annual Kenaidan-York University Lions Cup Golf Tournament, which took place on Sept. 17. For the first time, the event was hosted at the Lionhead Golf & Country Club in Brampton, Ont. Lionhead is owned by KaneffGolf under the leadership of Ignat Kaneff, a longtime supporter of York University and its students.

Event co-Chair Guy Burry (BA ’82) and Mamdouh Shoukri with the York Lions cheerleaders before the start of the 2014 Lions Cup Golf Tournament
Event Co-Chair Guy Burry (BA ’82) and Mamdouh Shoukri with the York Lions cheerleaders before the start of the 2014 Lions Cup Golf Tournament

“Support generated through the Lions Cup has meant more than $5 million in financial aid for hundreds of outstanding students over the past 14 years,” York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri told attendees during the evening program. “The tournament is an important way by which the York community helps to build the best postsecondary environment imaginable, where students can not only advance knowledge and skills in their field of choice, but also develop as citizens of the world.”

The Kenaidan-York University Lions Cup began in 2001 as the Chair’s Cup. Marshall Cohen, then chair of the York University Board of Governors, and his wife, Judi, envisioned creating a “friend-raiser” as well as a fundraiser, to rally the community around a great cause – student financial aid.

And while funds raised through the Lions Cup continue to support graduate students at York, this year was the first time that support from the tournament was also directed towards York’s varsity student athletes.

Sheereen Harris
Sheereen Harris

“Student athletes are by far York University’s strongest and most passionate ambassadors,” exclaimed event Co-Chair Guy Burry (BA ’82) during the evening program. “Often times, they are so busy trying to balance their academic and athletic priorities that they cannot retain part-time jobs and are therefore placed in a precarious financial situation. By giving back to this important cause, we can ensure that our student athletes are successful both in and out of uniform.”

One such student athlete is Sheereen Harris, a fourth-year kinesiology student who has been a varsity sprinter on the York Lions track and field team since first year and has served as the team’s captain for three years. Harris is also a recipient of an athletic financial award and the York University Continuing Student Scholarship.

“The financial assistance through York’s various awards and bursaries has helped alleviate a lot of the financial burden placed on me and my family and allows me to focus solely on being the best student-athlete I can be,” Harris shared with guests. “On behalf of not only myself, but every other student that has benefited from awards and scholarships made possible by donors like you, I’d like to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone here for your generosity and assure you that it does not go unnoticed.”

At the helm of the Lions Cup are co-chairs Greg Stack (BA Spec. Hons ’81) and Burry, a member of York’s Board of Governors and former chair of the York University Alumni Association Board. Burry concluded the event by saying: “It was a great day of golfing and it means a tremendous amount to our graduate students, our student athletes and to all of us at York that you came out to support this event.”

Lions holding sign with event sponsors listed
The event’s sponsors

Photos from the event can be found at

The following is the list of sponsors for the 2014 Kenaidan-York University Lions Cup Golf Tournament:

Title Sponsor 

Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.

Premier Sponsor 

TD Insurance Meloche Monnex

Beat the Pro Sponsor 

Guy Burry

Golf Ball Sponsor 

407 ETR

Hole-in-One Sponsor 

Jaguar Land Rover Canada

Hole Sponsors 

Aviva Canada Inc. / Marsh Canada Ltd.
Brown Daniels Associates Inc.
Cisco Systems Ltd.
David Cynamon
Gryphon International Investment Corporation
Manulife Financial
Ontario Redimix Ltd., A Division of Holcim Canada
Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd.
Self Management Group
Shawneeki Golf Club
TD Asset Management Inc.
Towers Watson
Wedge Capital Management LLP
York University Development Corporation

Pin Supporters

Aon Hewitt
Canada Building Materials
Henry Wu
Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
Mawer Investment Management Ltd.
Westwood Management Corp.

Congratulations to prize winners from the 2014 Lions Cup:

Closest to the Pin Winners

Male (Masters Course) – Rob Piti
Male (Legends Course) – Chris Sean
Female (Masters Course) – Kristen Wady

Second place teams

Masters Course
Munro – Frank Mazza, Theo Melo, Paolo Moretti, Tom Tauriello

Legends Course
Towers Watson – Randy Colbert, Chris Graf, John Poos, Colin Wright

First place teams

Masters Course
Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. – Duke Diekson, Jordan Forfar, Tim Wood

Legends Course
Harris Rebar – Pat Kilkenny, Kevin Olesen, Dave Sabados, Chris Sean