First Annual Varsity Tigers Alumni hockey was a Roaring Success!
$5300 raised as Hope Through Hockey team departs.
December 28th, 2016, Uxbridge Ontario: Even as the 12 person Hope Through Hockey team left Uxbridge, early in the morning, Tigers alumni awoke to the sweet experience of being back on the ice together, last Friday night.
Tigers from every year were present, enabling a veterans team born prior to 1992 and a rookie team born 1992 and after to face off, at the Uxbridge arena, where most of their hockey was played.
There were 18 players on standby hoping to get in the game, showing the high level of excitement. Cole Lewis was the only call up, taking Todd Winder's spot on the Rookies, due to a minor injury in Todd's Junior game the night before.
A lobby pizza party took place letting Tigers catch up with each other, some for the first time since their playing days. Many were introducing their children, with each Tiger offspring taking home an “I’m a l’il Tiger” t-shirt.
The night started off with a skills competition, under the watchful eye of Head Referee Don Ferguson. The veterans gained a goal to start the game, by schooling the Rookies both in the speed and shooting rounds. The George brothers, Kevin and Ronnie, beat some of the youngest Rookie legs with their speed. The Northover brothers also duked it out in the shootout with Veteran Kyle, nimbly pulling brother Cody out of position to put the puck away.
Mayor Gerry Lynn O’Connor joined in the fun with her encouragement, Pastor Dale Dawson dropped the puck and Pat Malloy announced a donation of $1,000 in backing, from the Township of Uxbridge, for the Hope Through Hockey team. Graham Wilson ran a spirited auction of beautiful donations from Dimples charms, invented right here in Uxbridge, and products from the businesses of former Tigers players, GDWD wood products and Ineo Studios. A surprise item appeared as well, the actual jersey of former Captain Greg Rogers (#10), whose girlfriend won the bidding in a tightly contested round.
The crowd was very generous with cash donations, as was the Veterans team who, in a touching gesture of support, passed the hat in their dressing room and raised $515.00 for the cause! A fantastic contribution total of $5,300 was raised for the First Nations mission of friendship to Weagamow.
Who said hockey players can’t show emotion. Peter Morris, a former USS teacher, who later returned as its Principal, himself a Peterborough Pete, took the Veteran bench with the help of former coach James McNab and goalie of the first Tigers team, Cam Wilson.
Neil Evans, a current Tigers coach, with long time trainer Heather Wilson led the Rookies, a team full of skilled hockey players, many of whom are presently playing junior hockey at some level.
Don Simmonds, head coach of the Tigers, and his wife Fay, hosted the evening. Fay is recovering from a liver transplant, she underwenta year ago. The Tigers were a great encouragement to Fay during this process with their drop in visits and offers to donate one of their own livers, if needed.
A strong bond exists between Tigers and it showed up at this reunion game. With just 10 minutes to go in the game the score was 4-4. The veterans were showing their efficiency and experience on the ice, until their fuel cells sputtered a bit, and, in the end, were out powered by the younger legs and peak performance of the Rookie players.
Final score? 6-4 Rookies, setting up a sure repeat performance, hopefully annually, for years to come.
Thank you, one and all, for such a memorable evening.
Hope Through Hockey: Year 4
The Hope Through Hockey team is receiving many significant donations of equipment, again this year, and have flown in with the equipment on board, as a result of the special assistance of NorthStar Air, a charter service that serves remote indigenous communities.
The 12 team members are:
Tavis Smith (co-lead), Lue Mahaffey (co-lead), Sam and Stephanie Luinstra, Wendy and Kirk Meek, Paul Kerrigan, Nicole McFadden, Justin Curtis, Katerina Noble, Merrick Adams and Don Simmonds.
The assistance of Uxbridge Baptist Church, who quarterbacks the administrative leadership for this project, is invaluable.
You can still support the project. Cash Donations will help support the $16,000 cost of air travel for the team and equipment, in and out of the community by air. Donations marked “Hope Through Hockey” will be received by Uxbridge Baptist Church. Tax receipts for donations over $25 will be issued.
The Tigers wish to thank the Uxbridge Community for standing with them in this unique endeavour!!
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