Ontario Special Olympics

General Amherst, Amherstburg police square off in charity hockey game

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team and the Amherstburg police hockey team squared off in a game during the holidays, but the big winners were Ontario Special Olympics.

The charity game saw the Bulldogs win on the scoreboard but no one seemed to care about the final result afterword as proceeds went to the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which in turn helps support Special Olympics.

Sgt. Mike Cox said it was the reintroduction of the charity game with General Amherst, noting that players who now play for the police team once played against them when they were in high school. He hoped it would be the first of two charity hockey games before the season is over.

The General Amherst Bulldogs and Amherstburg police hockey teams gather for a group photo following their charity hockey game for the Torch Run Dec. 22. The Torch Run helps support Ontario Special Olympics.

“I’m hoping to play the Admirals at the end of their season,” said Cox. “Hopefully it will be in June after they win a championship.”

The game against the Bulldogs featured several father/son combinations on the Amherstburg police team, including Don and Gage Brown, Chris and Luke Renaud as well as Joe and Kyle Shaw. Joe Shaw is usually an assistant coach with the Bulldogs while Kyle is a former OHL player. Another former OHL player, Zack Percy, also suited up for the police team.

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said his team had the opportunity to participate in the charity game and they seized it.

“Obviously, it’s a fantastic cause,” Garrett said of Ontario Special Olympics. “It’s a cause we all believe in.”

Garrett credited General Amherst principal Melissa DeBruyne for getting the game back on the Bulldogs’ schedule. DeBruyne, who played up for the police team, said she was glad to do it.

“It’s just about giving back to Special Olympics,” she said. “It was an opportunity to bring back a past tradition.”

The final day before the Christmas break for the school also saw a staff-student volleyball game and the staff prepare breakfast for the students.

“It’s about bringing the community in,” she said. “It’s the spirit of giving. It was a lot of fun.”

Sgt. Mike Cox drops the puck between General Amherst boys hockey team captain Josh DiCarlo (left) and principal Melissa DeBruyne, who suited up for the police team at the recent charity hockey game.

DeBruyne said the school received donations from Maria’s Restaurant, Meloche’s No Frills, Sobeys, parent council and teachers.

As for her playing for the police team, DeBruyne said she enjoys playing hockey whenever she gets a chance.

“I’ve got such a passion for hockey,” she said. “Every time I get on the ice, I love it.”

Admirals, cops to battle in annual charity hockey game

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Ontario Special Olympics will get a financial boost April 29 thanks to the Amherstburg Police Service and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

The teams will square off at the Libro Centre that Friday night in a game that will contribute to the police service’s Law Enforcement Torch Run efforts. All Torch Run proceeds go to the Special Olympics.

Sgt. Mike Cox said the charity game has been taking place in Amherstburg for over 20 years in various forms. The opponents have changed over the years and now it is the Admirals who are helping raise money.

Cox said the “Polar Plunge” held earlier this year at St. Clair College helped Torch Run efforts substantially. That event had 181 “plungers” and raised $48,500.

Amherstburg police and the Amherstburg Admirals will team up for a charity hockey game April 29  to benefit the Torch Run. The Torch Run’s proceeds go towards Special Olympics. From left: Sgt. Melissa Taylor, Sgt. Mike Cox and Admirals co-owner/general manager Wes Ewer.

Amherstburg police and the Amherstburg Admirals will team up for a charity hockey game April 29
to benefit the Torch Run. The Torch Run’s proceeds go towards Special Olympics. From left: Sgt. Melissa Taylor, Sgt. Mike Cox and Admirals co-owner/general manager Wes Ewer.

“We had great success with the Polar Plunge,” said Cox. “We’re hoping to raise as much money as we can (at the hockey game) for Special Olympics.”

There is a $2 minimum donation to get into the game with tickets available at the police station, General Amherst High School or at the door. There will be door prizes and giveaways with Torch Run T-shirts and Admirals souvenirs like foam fingers, lanyards, clappers and other items to be given away.

Addy, the Admirals’ mascot, will also be on hand.

Wes Ewer, co-owner and general manager of the Admirals, said the coaches and management will be playing for the police team that night and going against the players.

“The coaches and players will be excited to go against each other,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a police victory.”

Ewer said the Jr. C franchise is always eager to help the community and they hope to get people to come out that night. The game is scheduled to run from 7-9 p.m.

The Torch Run itself will be May 25 with it scheduled to begin at the police station around lunchtime. A barbecue will be held prior to the event with staff and those supported by Community Living Essex County’s Channel Resource Centre to be on hand. Cox said the entire community is welcome to the barbecue and to participate in the run.