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St. Albert hockey team boosts hospital auxiliary

By: Stu Salkeld

  |  Posted: Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 06:00 am

TOYS FOR HELP – The Peewee B2 St. Albert Xcel decided to make one of their tournament trips extra special by donating toys to a hospital auxiliary.
TOYS FOR HELP – The Peewee B2 St. Albert Xcel decided to make one of their tournament trips extra special by donating toys to a hospital auxiliary.
Supplied photo

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A St. Albert minor hockey team has scored big time in the charity world by supporting a British Columbia hospital.

Peewee B2 St. Albert Xcel decided to make one of their tournament trips extra special, noted assistant coach and manager Denis Dubois.

“Last month one of St Albert’s B2 Peewee Team, the St Albert Xcel, went on a bus trip to Cranbrook for a hockey tournament,” said Dubois Wednesday.

“One of the St. Albert boy’s grandmothers has been a volunteer for the Cranbrook Health Care Hospital Auxiliary and its thrift store for the last 32 years. Wanting to do something for the hospital, the parents and the boys from our team collected over 300 teddy bears for the store. The toys were all donated. Most of them belong to the boys on the team and their siblings.

“Eleven-year-old boys don't seem to have time for them anymore, so I thought it best to give them for a worthy cause, although some of the parents got donations from other parents from other teams.”

Dubois noted the thrift store receives all kinds of items, mostly clothes and some furniture. He said some of the best looking toys such as bears are held back for the hospital to hand out to sick children, the rest are sold at the thrift store where all proceeds eventually end up in the hospital as equipment.

“The way that works is that the hospital gives them a wish list of needed equipment and the board that runs the auxiliary buys what they can,” said Dubois. “The hospital auxiliary volunteers number about 150, with the average age around 70. Some women there have been volunteers for close to 40 to 50 years. As mentioned that little thrift store and all its volunteers make over $300,000 per year on a good year. They support a lot of people in the East Kootenay.”

While the majority of the stuffed toys will be sold at the thrift store, a few select ones will make it to the hospital and be donated to sick children.

Dubois said the team leaders wanted to show the players the value of leadership. “We did this to partly show our boys that they can help out others in many ways,” said Dubois.

He also noted the players were rewarded for their efforts with an outdoor barbecue and bonfire at a ranch belonging to one of the volunteers on the St. Mary’s River. Dubois said horses, tractor sleigh rides, roasted marshmallows, mountain fresh air and somewhat warm weather made this trip memorable for all.

“However a trip like this might not have happened if it were not for our sponsors,” said Dubois. “The St Albert XCEL team would like to thank our sponsors for a great year. Those sponsors are Davery Homes, Edge Promotional Group, Snubbertech Oilfield Manufacturing, Parker Dubrule Lawyers, ATB Financial, Lakeside Computers, Weary & Co Law Office and Brent Melville Remax.

“The boys had a great year in hockey, and this was a memorable tournament that they are likely to remember for a long time,” added Dubois.


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