Your Vancouver Canuck Alumni took their show on the road this past Saturday (March 27th) to help the Cariboo-Chilcotin Child Development Centre raise funds for its Williams Lake-based programs. And everyone went home a winner.
The host organization, now in its 37th year of providing therapy and other services to children and families throughout the Central Interior, did an outstanding job of rounding up silent auction items, selling advertising, tickets and programs ... after convincing the Senior Men's league-leading Stampeders to lace 'em up and attend the Alumni's on-ice 'clinic,' all to benefit an excellent, local, not-for-profit cause.
The Alumni's day started with an autograph session at the local Canadian Tire outlet, where fans were lined up out the door and down the street when the visiting 'celebs' and coach Chris Oddleifson arrived. The mood then carried over into the evening, as the crowd that packed Williams Lake Memorial Arena bought up every souvenir program and piece of hockey memorabilia in sight.
The generous spirit must have caught on pre-game with the 'home team,' who offered up three members of their squad to skate alongside the likes of Orland Kurtenbach, Dave Babych, Jeff Bandura, Eddie Hatoum and Mark Lofthouse. Perhaps, in hindsight, the on-ice hosts may have been a little too generous: the final score was 10-4 for the older, more-seasoned visitors.
Post-game, the Alumni were honoured at a CDC reception that included a plaque presentation and involved more than a few shared promises that it won't be too long before the Alumni gets an invitation to return to the South Cariboo for another charity-based on-ice showdown, such was the success of last weekend's visit.
Story by John Ashbridge