It was a chance encounter that has snowballed into a terrific charity opportunity.
Doug Hartwig, a clerk at the Safeway in Vernon Square, spotted Vernon’s Ken Holland, GM of the NHL Detroit Red Wings, shopping the aisles earlier this summer. A long-time friend of the Holland clan, Hartwig greeted Ken and asked if he would consider donating an auction item for the store’s breast cancer awareness campaign.
“He just happened to be in the store and I asked him out of the blue and asked if he could get something,” said Hartwig. “He said ‘No problem.’”
The result is a No. 13 Red Wings’ jersey, signed by star forward Pavel Datsyuk, that will be raffled off Friday, Nov. 1.
The Vernon Vipers have also jumped on board with a No. 14 jersey signed by Mason Blacklock.
Raffle tickets ($2 each, or three for $5) are available at the store. Safeway is also sponsoring the B.C. Hockey League tilt between Vipers and Merritt Centennials on Saturday, Oct. 26, and will have a booth set up on the concourse.
“It’s a big month for fundraising at Safeway, probably the biggest one of the year for us,” said Hartwig.
Samosas are being sold today at the store, 12 for $20, with proceeds going to the breast cancer federation.