St. Timothy High School hosted its fourth annual Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre (SKCAC) Benefit Charity Hockey game on Dec. 21.
The game, which pits the school’s teachers against the students, featured a number of special guests including former National Hockey League players Kennedy and Colin Forbes. MP Blake Richards also made an appearance in the game.
Kennedy, a former member of the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League, as well as the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins, devoted his post hockey career to child abuse prevention and education after he dealt with sexual abuse growing up.
Along with his business partner, Wayne McNeil, Kennedy owns and operates Respect Group Inc., which provides training to and empowerment tools to help thousands of people involved in amateur sport and education systems prevent bullying, harassment and abuse.
The game originally began four years ago as a fun-pre Christmas event, where the teachers and students from the school’s hockey program joined together in a game of shinny, but organizer and St. Timothy teacher Kevin MacLellan said the game has turned into so much more than a friendly rivalry.
“It’s grown in many ways, obviously with the support of the greater community and we have more people jumping on board with the initiative, which is huge,” MacLellan said.
“In regards to donating, putting out prizes with the raffle and families that are coming out to show their support, regardless of if their child is playing in the game or not, it has helped it (the game) grow immensely.”
“With the game itself, we implemented some different things with the public skate before hand as well as the shoot to score and allowing the whole school to come and watch, which is something we started last year, has helped the game take on a different level in so many ways … it’s what something like this needs, to create more conversation about a tough topic but everyone is banding together to help.”
MacLellan also said the school should be able to match its fundraising total from last year, with donations coming from raffle tickets, silent auction and much more.
“We currently should be easily over $1,000 right now, but we still have the silent auction (money) to collect for the Flames and Vegas Golden Knights jersey, which will take in a fair chunk of money,” MacLellan said.
“We also have the ball hockey tournament at the end of the year which also goes towards the fundraiser. When we go to present the cheque we should at least be able to match our total from last year of $2,300. But as it looks right now, we should be able to surpass last year’s total.”
As for this year’s matchup? After the opening face off the teachers jumped out to a commanding 11-6 lead, before the students flooded the ice and emerged with a close 12-11 victory.