The former local hockey stars will team up with TAAA minor league players in a charity game against the Thorold Mounts, who are sponsoring the event’s ice rental fee. Tyke teams will play between periods.
“Lots of people are looking forward to it,” Mike Braun told ThoroldNews.
“They all played their minor hockey here in Thorold.”
Bolibruck began with the Thorold Jr. B Blackhawks, then played for the Peterborough Petes and Team Canada, as well as the AHL and in Europe. The others also got their start in Thorold before playing in various leagues, including the AHA, OJHL, and others across North America.
Braun and his wife Angela are co-organizing the event with Karen Head. In addition to bringing top-rate skating and hockey entertainment to the Thorold Arena; its main goal is to sponsor a refugee family who fled from terror and violence in their native Pakistan two years ago, and have been hiding in a one-bedroom apartment in Thailand, unable to go outside for fear of being discovered.
Head became aware of the refugee family “via a good friend. One daughter was very badly beaten, with numerous visible bruises and swelling to her face and body,” she said recently at council. “Her sister was burned in the street as an example.” Moses can’t go to school and “They cannot leave for fear of being deported.”
Head and the Brauns hope their hockey game will raise the $35,000 required by the Canadian government for sponsorship. Once the necessary funds and completed forms are received, “They will bring the family to refuge here in Canada. We are working here to save them from harm’s way and harsh circumstances and probable death,” explained Head.
Even if the mother, two daughters, and 10-year-old grandson are successful in escaping Thailand, “They will come to Canada with no money,” said Braun, so will need basic necessities to set up house.
Anyone wishing to donate household items and/or clothing can contact Karen Head at 905-964-3150.
Local schools have been pitching in by hosting fundraisers to help the family, Braun noted.
“The concession stand will go 50/50” on snack sales that night, he said, adding that hamburgers, hot dogs and poutine will be available.
For fans’ listening enjoyment, live music will be played in the arena lobby from 6 to 7 p.m. There will also be a silent auction, with prize donations such as an autographed Ice Dogs stick up for grabs.
Braun said they would welcome more donations.
As one of the coaches of the TAAA midgets, Braun said, “We bought all our players tickets, so we hope other teams will do the same.”
Admission to the game costs $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and children younger than 5 will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are available at the arena, 70 Front St. N., at Front Row Sports, and the Thorold Community Credit Union.