Hockey in the great outdoors, tons of smiles and a big cheque for charity.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Cpl. Yannick Lescarbeau had the opportunity to help out sick kids with some Christmas time hockey action.
Lescarbeau got together with several coaches and managers of four Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association atom hockey teams to create the Winter Classic In Support of Sick Kids charity hockey tournament, held outdoors at Penticton’s Apex Mountain.
“It was a way for us to give something back to the community,” said Lescarbeau, who was joined on the ice by his son and daughter.
The teams, along with the players, the managers, their families, and with the help of several corporate businesses, resulted in a tournament for the children. The final result was they raised over $10,000 for the Sick Kids Foundations.
The idea came to Lescarbeau during the managing of his atom team (ages 9-10) when he noticed families of healthy young players also dealing with siblings with various disabilities.
Two of the children on his team have some form of disabilities.
As a result of this he started to look for opportunities to help the families as well as educate his players about those children that are less fortunate and the need to show acceptance and compassion when dealing with them.
“Many of our officers are parents that spend time giving to their communities in the form of coaching or volunteering for many different groups and organizations,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.
The tournament experience was embraced fully by not only his team, but the three other teams, from Williams Lake, West Kelowna, and Penticton.