Vernon minor football coach Doug Cook is in hospital and needs help from the community.

Vernon minor football coach Doug Cook is in hospital and needs help from the community.

Cookie needs community help

Longtime minor football coach Doug Cook is in rough shape and needs your help.

Longtime minor football coach Doug Cook is in rough shape and needs your help.

The highly popular Cook, 61, has been in hospital in Vancouver since August and underwent multiple surgeries for a complicated, yet serious health condition.

Friends and former coaches of Cookie’s are holding a fundraiser dance next Friday at the rec centre. Under Cover is the band and there will be loads of door prizes and give-a-ways.

There will be a silent auction and dance to help pay expenses Cook, a floor layer at CJV Carpet One, will incur during his recovery period.

Neil Brownbill and Keith Ridd are organizing the event and are asking for donations for the silent auction. Items may be dropped off at CJV Carpet One (4413 29th St.) or at Sam’s Flooring Supplies (2-4601 23 St.).

Since 1996, Cook, filled with a passion for the game of football, and knowing what the game could teach maturing young men, has shared the knowledge that he had gained while playing for SFU and coaching with the Renfrew Trojans.

“As part of the board for Vernon Minor Football, Doug spent countless hours behind the scenes helping organize Practice with the Pros events, Clash Tournaments and the regular-season games, equipment suit ups, returns and other events,” said Ron Kirschner, who just retired after three decades with minor football.

As a defensive co-ordinator, Cookie helped the Vernon Midget Magnums win the 2010  nine-man provincial championship and twice, Bantam teams he coached, competed for the B.C. title.

In recognition of his contributions, Cook was named the Vernon Minor Football Coach of the Year Award in 2006 and earned the ENCANA Sport Hero for Youth Sport in B.C. award in 2009.

Added Kirschner: “More significant than these awards, however, is the number of Vernon youth that have taken the lessons learned on coach Cook’s fields and applied them, in their own right, enabling them to play for the Okanagan Sun and Kamloops Broncos or to win university scholarships which have  led to teaching degrees and other rewarding professional careers.

“Unfortunately, Doug has fallen victim to a devastating medical condition that has not only taken him off of the playing field but it will also prevent him from working for the next few years.”

Tickets for the dance are only $15 but will not be available at the door.

“It’s good fun for a great cause,” said Kirschner. “Coach Cook needs our help.”

EXTRA YARDAGE…Only 29 more days until the expansion draft for the Ottawa RedBlacks. The draft comes 11 years after a similar event for the Ottawa Renegades. The RedBlacks, who do not have a coach, will receive from teams on Dec. 9 a protected list of six non-imports, 10 imports and a quarterback that is sure to cause less angst with the Lions than their fan base, as the list is not required by the league to be made public….Lions may lose QB Buck Pierce…A sellout of 35,542 is expected for today’s Western final at McMahon Stadium. I like the Green Riders by a field goal over the Stamps…NFL commish Roger Gazelle makes $30 million a year…No word on how much CFL head honcho Mark Cohon collects. Average CFL player salary in 2011 was $82,500 so he’s probably earning at least $175,000 plus free parking.