Cops edge out fire fighters in charity hockey game

Local singer Ivory LaBelle sings the national anthem to open the charity hockey game where the OPP team (shown) edged out the WN Fire Service team.

Julie Ann Bertram

Special to the Tribune

Hockey night in Sturgeon was full of fun and fans as the OPP and WN Fire Fighters battled it out for bragging rights and charity on Saturday, March 4. Local singer Ivory LaBelle opened the event with the national anthem and West Nipissing Mayor Kathleen Thorne Rochon dropped the puck to officially start the game in front of a packed arena.

“It was really exciting. Councillor [Roch] St. Louis, who knows his way around the game, gave me a lesson [on how to drop the puck] in the corridor beforehand. It really is one of the best parts of the job, getting to be a part of the many activities and events that make West Nipissing great,” enthused Thorne Rochon.

Julie Martin of the WN Fire Service, organized the game. “The event went well! It was a full house, and we are splitting the proceeds between the two charities: $2081.00 each.” The money raised will serve Horizon Women’s Centre, which offers services to victims of violence, women in crisis, or in need of support, and to Camp BUCKO (Burn Camp for Kids in Ontario), which provides an opportunity for children recovering from burn injuries to meet other children who share similar feelings and experiences in a camp environment. 

Bear’s Fish Fry was set up outside and donated part of their proceeds as well. “We would like to thank all of the volunteers, players, and sponsors,” Martin expressed.

After a hard-fought game, the OPP team came out on top by just one goal. However, the fire fighters are already itching for revenge next year. “We are hoping to have this event every year,” said Martin. “2020 was our first year, but we couldn’t have the event in 2021 or 2022 because of COVID.”

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