About 600 people turned out to the charity hockey game between Powell River Fire Rescue and Powell River RCMP detachment on March 25, raising about $6,000 for the firefighters’ school food program.
RCMP won the closely contested game by a 4-3 score.
Firefighter Sid Allman said this was the second year that the charity game has been played. The first year, the donations went to the RCMP’s Cops for Cancer tour, and this year, the money will go to the Powell River Professional Firefighters Charitable Society for the Feeding the Kids program in schools.
In future years, the police and firefighters will split the proceeds. Allman said the firefighters’ proceeds will continue going to the school food program.
In terms of the hockey game, played at Hap Parker Arena, which was donated to the cause by City of Powell River, Allman said it was a really tight game.
“They [the RCMP] took an early 2-0 lead in the first period but we battled back,” said Allman. “They scored late in the third period to take the lead and win the game. It was a great game. We had a lot of support from our fans.”
Allman said both hockey teams had full lines so they could play the 60 minutes with a full complement of players. He said the players were very pleased to have so many fans in attendance.
“We talked to players after the fact and they said when you are playing in front of a crowd it makes you play that much harder,” said Allman. “It’s such a fun event and to have that kind of support makes it awesome for the players.”
Allman said the teams tried to fill their rosters with active members of their organizations, with as many RCMP and firefighters as possible.
“Unfortunately, not everyone plays hockey, so whoever we bring in on top of the fact, they were someone who works closely with the department,” said Allman. “We weren’t stacking the teams. We want to make it as local as we can.
“People who are coming out to support us are family and friends and people we know, so to be able to play in front of them and support the town is that much better.”
Allman said it has been estimated that there were 100 more people attending this year’s hockey game over the game played in 2022.
“We had 500 tickets printed and we sold all those, and there were about 100 over and above who came in at the door at the hockey game,” said Allman. “We were absolutely pleased with the turnout. It was fantastic.”
There was a small admission charge of $5 for the tickets to the game and there was also a donation box set up at the door, to which hockey fans donated generously.
“The money will put a good dent in the feeding the kids program, so this is really good,” said Allman. “We want to make sure that kids are not going hungry.”
Allman said if people want to donate to the cause, they still can by going to powellriverfirefighters.ca, and clicking on the donate online tab.