Hockey for Charity
As I looked at all the articles written on TCL the past week, I noticed that most of them surrounded some bad rep for the NHL. So I decided that even though this article doesn't have a whole lot to do with the NHL, it did for hockey as a sport. However minuscule this may seem to some readers, looking at the big picture it means a lot more. In the midst of all the bad press concerning hockey (head shots, suspensions, concussions; take your pick), something happened yesterday that made me forget about the negativity surrounding hockey. I took part in a game for charity yesterday and it was the most fun playing I have had in a long time.
Employees at Zehrs Great Foods in St. Clair Beach and the Dougall Superstore in Windsor played a full hockey game at Tecumseh Arena yesterday to raise money for the PC (President's Choice) Children's Charity. The charity is dedicated to helping children who are physically or developmentally challenged.
The idea came to us one day when we heard that our store used to play Sobeys just to have a game and have some fun. I was working at the store for over two years and no one stepped up to organize another one. So I decided that I would, and while I was at it, I thought we could play for charity.
I approached Sobeys to play but they said they didn't have enough players. So I got another one of friends involved, Chris Morand. He hooked us up with the Dougall store (who already had a team) and the idea started to snowball.
I had no idea that organizing an event like this was such a hard task. We had to get in touch with the Arena for the ice time, the charity rep at our store to take care of the donations, National Sports for our jerseys and the screeners to get our logo on the uniforms.
The company was nice enough to pay for the ice time, and the players paid for our uniforms, which by the way were pretty cool:
We had a couple signs up in our store so customers could see what we were playing for and we tried to get as many store employees out as we could. As it turned out, about 70-80 people showed up for the game, which was a lot more than I was expecting. Anyone could go into the arena with a money donation, and the generosity of some people was staggering. People were throwing twenty dollar bills in the jar and it went to a good cause.
I looked forward to the game for months, and when the time came I was nervous, which usually never happens before any of my games. We had music for the game and we had some first time refs show up who did a very good job. One of them is a little sore today but we won't get into details.
Long story short, our store, St. Clair Beach, won the game 6-1, mainly because of Morand's stellar goaltending. The spectators that showed up for the game created a good atmosphere. One of our co-workers made a few signs out of bristol board that made us chuckle. I was pleased with how the game went and the money we raised for the charity. We brought in $450 for the Children's Charity based off donations to enter the arena. This was a staggering number for me because the only advertisement we had was a sign at the store entrance and exit.
After the game we had a fun little shootout and had a team picture. Hopefully we get recognized by the company for what we did. It's one of those things you wish you see more often in the hockey world and not all the negativity. If a bunch of grocery store employees can play a little hockey for a good cause, so can the big boys at the highest level, and maybe all this negativity would be forgotten for at least a little while and remind people of what is truly important.
Special Thanks to Shirley Larivierre for getting the charity involved and handling the money issues, Chris Morand for helping out with contact to Dougall and music selection, Mike Simison for getting Dougall's team together for the game, Steve Lussier and Kurt Lucas for refereeing, Randy Busch for doing the timekeeping and the music, and all the people that showed up to support their team. Your generosity was greatly appreciated.