Military & NHL alumni honour fallen soldiers with hockey game
Published Saturday, September 29, 2012 7:31PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 29, 2012 7:33PM MDT
Hockey was more than just a game at the Okotoks Centennial Arena on Saturday as members of the military and ex-NHLers shared the ice to raise money and awareness for two important organizations: : the Family Military Resource Centre, and Soldier On, which helps ill and injured soldiers.
Soliders and pro-hockey alumni were on the ice to raise money for the charities, and to remember local fallen soldier, Steven Marshall, who died in Afghanistan three years ago Sunday.
“I think it's a way I can raise awareness of where we've been, what these kids sacrificed, and not let it be forgotten. “ Says Steven’s father, Murray Marshall. “That's been my big challenge for the last three years, they weren't just numbers, they're someone's son or daughter.”
The game is the brainchild of Sharon Van Olm, whose two sons served in Afghanistan. “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is huge. People don't know. These military boys that have been over there, they can't watch or listen to fireworks, it doesn't sound like fireworks for them.” Says Van Olm.
Pro Hockey alumni like former Flames Dana Murzyn and Dwayne Hay were happy to help out, as was retired Vancouver Canuck and Okotoks resident Rob Tudor.
“They've protected us, now it's time for us to protect them.” Says Tudor.
Some of Steven Marshall's friends also participated, like Corporal Fraser Zerebecki. He says when Marshall was killed, many friends overseas weren't able to come home and pay their respects. The game is one way to honour Steve.
“I think this is a great fit. Steve was an absolutely crazy hockey fan, just a die hard Flames fan, so I think he'd be very happy to see this going on.”
The jerseys from Saturday’s games will be autographed by the star players and auctioned off as part of the fundraising efforts.