Smiles all around
08.13.2011 / 5:14 PM ETKAMLOOPS, B.C. -
The Pediatric Ward at Royal Inland Hospital is full of joy this afternnoon as local hero Mark Recchi
has brought national hero Stanley Cup to the patients, nurses and doctors.
Recchi is signing autographs on papers, jerseys, hats and even casts. He is posing for pictures with just about everybody here, including parents of the patients.
He had a special meeting with one of the young patients who has his own private room. As Joseph lay in his bed, the Stanley Cup next to him, the nurses kept coming in and out of the room commenting on how excited he is and how much this means to him.
"What a memory," was the comment I heard the most.
As soon as Recchi walked into the ward, nurses and doctors started to pop their heads out of the rooms and scramble for their cameras.
Every one of them jumped in to get a photo with Recchi and the Cup.
He was carrying the 35-pound trophy everywhere and starting to sweat, but Recchi's smile was huge. This is something he so wanted to do, bring the Cup to the kids and all those who care for them.
Of course, there was one person walking around who saw the Cup and wanted an autograph, but she didn't know who Mark was.
"It's OK," Recchi said. "All you have to know is we beat the Canucks."
The groans afterward were quite audible.
-- Dan Rosen
Making an impact
08.13.2011 / 3:10 PM ETKAMLOOPS, B.C. -
The words had to touch Mark Recchi
"You can beat Vancouver all you want, you'll always be an icon here."
Recchi heard that from one of the 25 people at the private fundraising luncheon at The Brownestone on Victoria Street this afternoon.
He's not an only an icon in Kamloops for what he did on the ice in his hockey career. Recchi has been a longtime and significant contributor to the fundraising efforts at Royal Inland Hospital, where he was born.
He previously donated $100,000 to the cancer ward and for the last six months Recchi has been at the forefront of the RIH Foundation's effort to raise $3 million toward renovations for the Intensive Care Unit.
With his name in front of the campaign, the Foundation has raised over $2 million. They have $919,933 to go and six months to do it.
They'll shave some of that number down with today's $500 a head luncheon with Recchi and the Stanley Cup.
Recchi also recently announced that the Kamloops Blazers, the local WHL team, has joined in the fundraising efforts. Recchi is part-owner of the Blazers.
"To get the opportunity to help out is great and I'm glad I'm making a difference, which is what you want to do," Recchi told his high-paying philanthropic audience. "We're going to get to that $3 million. I'm proud to be a part of it."
Veronica Carroll, the executive officer for the RIH Foundation, gushed over Recchi's involvement for such a meaningful cause in the comunity.
"His image and stature and what he means to our community as a Kamloops boy born in the hospital is fabulous," Carroll told NHL.com. "The fact that the community knows him and loves him is just wonderful."
-- Dan Rosen
He's got it again
08.13.2011 / 1:50 PM ETKAMLOOPS, B.C. - Mark Recchi
has done this before, but it doesn't get old. When Walt Neubrand handed him the Cup in front of his old family home here just after 10 a.m. local time, Recchi quipped, "It doesn't get lighter."
He obviously doesn't care. Recchi started his day here on, of all places, Mark Recchi
Way, which is the same street where his dad grew up and his brother Marty now lives with his family. He lives in the same house that their father, Mel, grew up in.
The Recchis invited four members of the Kamloops Mounted Patrol to come over and take pictures behind the house alongside the Kamloops Heritage Railway. Even the four horses are posing. Recchi is an honarary member of the Kamloops Mounted Patrol, a volunteer group that tasks itself with keeping the parks around town safe and welcoming celebrities like Recchi back to town.
Rick Wanless, the director of the Mounted Patrol, told NHL.com that Recchi is the biggest celebrity in Kamloops and "probably the biggest we will ever have here." Recchi also brought the Cup here and shared it with the Mounted Patrol after winning it in 2006. Recchi's parents, Ruth and Mel, have known Wanless for years. Wanless, in fact, led the charge to get the street named Mark Recchi
-- Dan Rosen