It was a $7,000 night for Athletics For Kids (A4K) and the Alumni on Thursday, October 22nd, as members of the Canuck Alumni partnered with A4K skaters to stage the second-ever A4K/Canuck Alumni fund-raiser at Canlan's Ice Sports North Shore facility in North Vancouver.
No Alumni-versus-enemy in this contest. The teams were "blended" so that each squad had a mix of A4K athletes and Alumni skating side-by-side for the entire event.
Cliff Ronning, Mark Lofthouse, Gary Valk, Dave Babych, Rick Amann, Gary Nylund, Phil von Stefenelli, rookie Dusty Imoo, Jeff Oddleifson - subbing for injured father, Chris - Dave Tomlinson, Wayne Van Dorp, Bruce Brill, Mike Brown, Jackson Davies and Terry Bingley made up the Alumni contingent, supported by trainer Gerry "Slammer" Dean, referees Stan Vyse and the elder (Chris) Oddleifson, with Rod Brathwaite, Ernie Dougherty and John Ashbridge working behind the benches or along the sidelines.
But the ice-level antics were only one part of the evening's charitable efforts. A4K, The Vancouver Canucks and Game Day Auction all contributed to the success of the night with donations of autographed jerseys, photos and tickets for the silent auction.
A4K believes providing an opportunity to participate in childhood sports is key to every youngster's successful development. This year alone, A4K has provided close to $100,000 in funding that has had a positive effect on more than 300 children across B.C. Each of the A4K skaters taking part in the Oct. 22nd game had put up a minimum donation of $350 for one of the prized 14 spots in the lineup and - of the $7,000 raised on the night - A4K collected $4,000 with the rest gratefully accepted by the Alumni on behalf of the B.C. Hockey Benevolent Association.
Special thanks to Ice Sports North Shore for donating the ice time and to The Thirsty Penguin Grillhouse on site, for making sure everyone was well fed and no one left thirsty during or after the game.Story by John Ashbridge, Canucks in-bowl announcer