Four regional victims’ assistance groups will soon benefit from a large fundraising effort.
The second annual Wild Rose Hockey Challenge charity game for Victims’ Assistance, hosted by Wild Rose MP Blake Richards, will take place at Airdrie’s Ron Ebbesen Arena at 1:45 p.m. on July 11.
All proceeds will benefit four regional victims’ assistance groups: the Airdrie and District Victim Assistance Society, Bow Valley Victim Services Association, Cochrane and Area Victim Services, and Chinook Arch Victim Services.
The actual game will feature a mix of politicians and hockey players. Federal MPs will be on one team with Provincial MLAs on the other, while both will be bolstered by a number of current and former NHL players.
“It’s a little bit of healthy competition between the two levels of government and, most importantly, we’re raising money for victims assistance groups all over my riding,” Richards said.
“I work a lot on justice issues and for me, the focus is always on the victims of crime and how we need to support them more and do more to ensure justice for them.”
Federal Defence Minister Peter MacKay, NHL alumni Sheldon Kennedy, current NHL players Zach Boychuk, Brett Sutter, and Dana Tyrell, as well as Portland Winterhawk Ty Rattie will all be competing.
“We have a lot of our MPs out in Alberta during Stampede, with the prime minister having his barbecue, and it’s a great opportunity to raise some money for my constituency,” Richards said, adding the Conservative government has a touring hockey team that plays charity events across the country.
“It’s a pretty good lineup and we’ve got some guys (the politicians) who can play some decent hockey. Last year, we had a lot of compliments on how exciting the game action was for a charity hockey game. It was competitive and the fans enjoyed it.”
A silent auction will be held, as well as a shootout for a new 2010 Honda Insight, where three ticket holders will get a chance to shoot. Last year’s inaugural game raised more than $10,000, but Richards said he believes that will rise this year.
“We set a goal of increasing it exponentially and we’d love to see $50,000 as a target,” he said. “I’m pretty excited about that.”
“We are pleased to be a part of Mr. Richards’ Wild Rose Hockey Challenge and believe this is an excellent opportunity to give back to our member communities in which we operate,” said Larry Bohn, CEO of Bow Valley Credit Union, the title sponsor for the next two years.
“We’re in the four communities of Banff, Canmore, Cochrane and Airdrie and we pride ourselves on doing things for the local areas, especially supporting good causes.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be a part of this particular fundraiser,” said Lori Rehill, executive director of ADVAS. “For Victims Services, this is the largest annual fundraiser we have for our organization. These funds go a long way to ensure our volunteers receive the professional training and support that they need and the victims get the services they are entitled to.”
The Wild Rose Hockey Challenge will run at Airdrie’s Ron Ebbesen Arena at 1:45 p.m. on July 11.
More information, including full rosters and ticket order forms, is available at www.wildrosehockey.com
Tickets, which cost $10, can also be ordered by calling Richards’ constituency office at 1-800-667-0410.