Running into its fourth year, the Gord Sleivert Memorial Coaches Game kicked off at the SEAPARC Arena last Saturday, raising nearly $3,000 for a Sooke family in need.
This year’s recipients will be the MacDonell family- notably, long-time Sooke Minor Hockey player, Quintin MacDonell, 18, who was recently diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer behind his eye.
For Sooke Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) president Darren Fogarty, as well as the rest of the Sooke community, this hits home pretty hard.
“Quintin’s such a great kid… Vancouver Island presented him with a scholarship so he can continue his schooling and now so here he is having to suddenly stop,” Fogarty said. “It’s very sad.”
Before being diagnosed with the condition, MacDonell was initially going to school in Regina and suffering from sinus infections.
MacDonell, who’s played hockey in Sooke since the age of seven, is currently in Vancouver with his family undergoing treatment – however the SMHA says the medical bills are quickly adding up.
Saturday night’s event got off to a good start though; before the game even began, a local family came in and donated $1,000 on the spot.
“We have such a great community here and everybody always pulls together for a good cause,” Fogarty said. “It puts everything into perspective.”
Over the last 30 years, hockey coaches in town have come together to raise money for a family in need in Sooke. After Gord Sleivert, a local hockey coach and legend, passed away three years ago, the event was re-named in his honour. Each of the coaches pay $20, everybody else who comes in is by donation – every dollar then goes to the family in question, or several, depending on the situation.
Those who wish donate to MacDonell’s cause can still drop off a cheque at the SEAPARC addressed to the Sooke Minor Hockey Association on behalf of the MacDonell family.