Hockey great Gordie Howe pledged to ‘Stick it to Alzheimer’s’ yesterday, at the launch of the Scotiabank Pro-Am for Alzheimers tournament.

The tournament, to be held in Edmonton next April, aims to raise funds for the Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s.

The subject of Alzheimers is particularly poignant for Howe, as his late wife, Colleen, died from dementia this spring. Also noting that his sister and brother died of the illness, Howe become emotional when speaking about his wife.

“A month ago I could hardly think about it,” Howe said.

“She was instrumental in so many things ... But if she were alive today, I know that she would be really happy with just being here today and hearing that so many wonderful things are happening for those in need.”

Howe was jovial while joking about past knee injuries with former-Oiler Mark Napier, now the executive director of the NHL Alumni Association. While Howe “would like to be playing” in the tournament, these injuries prevent him from participating.

“This is an opportunity to take this high profile event ... and really bring the spotlight to Edmonton and its charitable work,” said Greg Christenson, a local business leader.

“It’s really going to be good long-term for the Alzheimer Society in Northern Alberta.”