Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/05/06 at 09:57 AM ET
Every year, he pours $1 million into minor hockey programs. In 1995, he started the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in his hometown of Detroit in honor of his former wife and high school sweetheart, who died of breast cancer in 1989. His donations, which now top $26 million, have helped transform the institute into one of the largest cancer treatment centers in North America. A Greek immigrant, Karmanos didn't learn to speak English until elementary school and has never learned to skate, but used to appear on the ice during father/son hockey games playing goal. "He needed something to hang onto," longtime business partner Thomas Thewes said. That's always been the challenge with Karmanos, trying to reconcile the often visceral reactions to the man with the man himself. In some ways, it is the same for his Carolina Hurricanesread on
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