A trophy that had been gathering dust at the Penticton fire hall is now going to be a badge of honour for either local RCMP officers or the firefighters.
The Hogs versus Hosers charity hockey game is being held on Wednesday to raise funds for the United Way South Okanagan Similkameen. By last accounts, according to the trophy, the firefighters hold the bragging rights over the RCMP.
“We deserve to win again. We will use skills and brains,” joked fire chief Wayne Williams, who will be behind the bench coaching the firefighters. “Finally the police have stepped up and want to try and get it back.”
While it was a long-standing tradition of the RCMP and firefighters to challenge for the trophy, it fell by the wayside in 1995. RCMP Insp. Brad Haugli said it is time the trophy came back to its rightful owner.
“I would hope that the fire department doesn’t try to pull any fast ones and have some last-minute ringers that aren’t really attached to the fire department on their team. I know the firefighters had the trophy for a number of years, but I’m looking forward to bringing it back to the detachment where it belongs,” said Haugli.
While the game provides an opportunity for the community to see both firefighters and RCMP in a different light, the true function is to raise money for the United Way South Okanagan Similkameen — an organization that is close to Haugli’s heart as he is the 2011 United Way campaign chair.
The United Way invests in positive community programs that promote wellness and access to basic necessities while providing opportunities for healing and growth to support a good life for everyone and ensuring children in the community have everything they need to grow up great.
“We thought what a great way to not only ultimately provide funding to raise money for a great charity cause, but get the community out and involved in the Memorial Arena, which is a staple in the community, and have positive exposure for the police and fire department,” said Haugli.
With the help of the title sponsor Royal LePage, along with Boston Pizza and the City of Penticton, entry to the game is by donation. The Penticton Vees will also be assisting at the event with players selling 50/50 raffle tickets and Vees assistant coaches Mike Hengen and Steve Cawley playing for the RCMP and firefighters teams.
“This money is going back to our community, so we wanted everyone in the community to have an opportunity to come,” said Tracy St. Claire, director of the United Way South Okanagan and Similkameen. “The night will be belong to Penticton. It is a chance to show our support for our first responders, it is a chance to raise funds for the United Way and it is a great reason to visit Memorial Arena again.”
The event takes place next Wednesday with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and the game beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.