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Hockey charity to fund transit

By February 21, 2022No Comments
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Word travels quickly on the grapevine.

At least 15 people had already submitted the minimum $500 individual entry to play in the spring Play it Forward 12-hour charity hockey game before the event went public last Friday.

The event aims to raise $65,000 towards the cost of a new van for Border City Connects, which provides transportation for residents with special needs or mobility issues.

“We’re looking for 44 players, so that will give us a nice kickoff to our goal,” said Aaron Buckingham, owner of One Vision Consulting, who came up with the idea.

“This is a great hockey community. There are lots of people who play hockey. It seemed like a nice natural fit for a fundraiser.” 

More player entries are in the works with a March 1 deadline looming for signed waivers in advance of the four-team event at the Centennial Civic Centre on April 29.

“Theoretically, we’re almost halfway there,” said Border City Connects’ executive director, Glenn Fagnan, the same day. 

The non-profit transportation organization is turning to hockey to score funding for a new wheelchair lift-assist van with an estimated replacement cost of $115,000.

The full cost includes a maximum grant of $50,000 from the Saskatchewan government with the hockey game to raise the balance.

Insurance didn’t cover the replacement cost of a needed fourth van following a fire in 2019 that destroyed most of the fleet.

Grant funding, which is based on ridership, was down during COVID-19, but the current demand is there for a replacement bus.

“We’re in a position where the service is essential to the city and we need to come up with a way to raise funds,” explained Buckingham.

He expects a lot of community sweat equity and participation will go into the fundraising cause.

“This is the first of what we hope will be an annual charity event. We’re looking to fill those spots of players so we can ice the teams we need to,” said Buckingham.

The Friday game will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m with two White teams and two Blue teams playing alternative two hours games with each playing logging six hours of ice time.

It includes two refs with the winning team cumulating the most goals in 12 hours.

Expect one of the players to be Buckingham himself.

“You better believe it, you betcha,” he said.

“I may be old, but I do a lot of skating, so I’m currently getting ready to go—on the rookie squad right now, but hoping to make the big time that game.”

The event will be live-streamed all day with the ability for people to watch and donate live as well as attend the Centennial Civic Centre and watch live for a donation at the door.

Businesses are also encouraged to pile on as a major sponsor or make a donation. Players will also be collecting pledges to raise as much as they can.

The top three players raising the most donations will be entered into a draw for a cash prize of $500.

The Lloydminster Bobcats will be running concession services throughout the day as well.

Fagnan won’t be lacing up, but the game will be in his wheelhouse that day.

“This is a great way to bring more awareness to what we do around the region,” said Fagnan. 

“I’m not aware of anything that’s being done like this.”