Local firefighters to play in charity hockey game - March 2, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Members of the Huron East Fire Department will be taking to the ice against members of the local Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment later this month all in the name of fun and charity.
On Saturday, March 25, the Seaforth and District Community Centre will be the place to be for the game, which will begin at 2 p.m. The whole event is a fundraiser for Huron County Victim Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
Deborah Logue, executive director of Victim Services, said she was approached by Jamie Stanley, a local OPP officer, with the idea, which had been put into practice in Goderich as well as Perth County.
Logue said she felt it was a great opportunity to get the names of Victim Services and the CMHA out to members of the public while having some fun at the same time.
When she approached members of both the OPP and the fire department about the potential fundraiser, Logue said they were all very enthusiastic and agreed to take part almost immediately.
The game, Logue said, will be a chance to have some fun and showcase the “softer side” of people who deal with very real issues on a day-to-day basis, whether they be police officers and firefighters or Victim Services or CMHA employees.
Marty Bedard, chief of the Huron East Fire Department, said he felt it was a great idea right off the bat. After he was asked by Logue to participate, he brought the idea to the department’s three divisions and all were in favour of providing players to the team.
Victim Services, which now calls Seaforth its home, works closely with emergency services personnel throughout the county, so he felt like partnering for a fundraiser was a natural fit.
Bedard said that all three of the municipality’s fire stations – Seaforth, Brussels and Grey – will be represented on the team. While he is still an active hockey player, Bedard is unsure whether or not he’ll play. He says if there are enough players to field a team without him, he will coach the team, but if he needs to lace up his skates, he can do that too.
While the event will serve as a fundraiser for the two organizations through donations and silent auction items, Bedard says that all three divisions of the department will also be donating as part of their involvement in the game.
This is the first time that the Huron East Fire Department has been involved in a fundraising hockey game. However, members of the Brussels Fire Department played in a charity softball game in recent years and Bedard said it was a fun afternoon. He expects the hockey game will be similarly fun and full of antics from hockey players who won’t take themselves too seriously.
As honoured guests for the game, Blyth-area resident Julie Sawchuk will be dropping the puck for the game, while Kendall Jardin will sing the national anthem before the teams take to the ice.