Hockey raising funds for Sick Kids

Winter Classic Hockey Jamboree for Sick Kids hits the ice at Apex Mountain

The Winter Classic Hockey Jamboree will take place at Apex Mountain this weekend.

The Winter Classic Hockey Jamboree will take place at Apex Mountain this weekend.

Kids will be playing hockey for sick kids this weekend.

Yannick Lescarbeau of the Kelowna Ice Dogs atom development team has organized a second Winter Classic Hockey Jamboree for Sick Kids at Apex Mountain Resort. It’s a charity tournament aimed at raising money for the Sick Kids Foundation.

Lescarbeau chose the Sick Kids Foundation after seeing siblings of hockey players struggle with health issues over the years. He then realized his own children didn’t realize how fortunate they are and wanted to raise awareness about the difficulties of others. One of those ways is by raising money. Lescarbeau said that kids are finding their ways to fundraise, including giving their birthday money. A team from West Kelowna is doing a skate-a-thon. The Kelowna Ice Dogs did a fundraiser at Boston Pizza with the restaurant chain giving back 20 per cent of sales. The Speedway Vees raised $1,350 from a bottle drive they held last month.

“It teaches the kids some good life values and responsibility,” said Lescarbeau, who plans to hold the event at Apex every year.

Last year the goal was to raise a few thousand dollars. With four teams, the tournament surpassed that goal by generating $10,000.

“It was really contagious,” said Lescarbeau. “All the teams went crazy about it. Really excited to raise money. They all had their own initiative to raise.”

Lescarbeau is also seeking corporate support and sponsorship to help cover the costs of paying officials and the ice rental fee, which in total is $4,000. Tax receipts from the Sick Kids Foundation will be provided. Those interested in donating can do so at: https://goo.gl/70ypQy or www.facebook.com/2016 SickKids Foundation Atom Winter Classic Jamboree. Lescarbeau can be reached at lescarbeau@telus.net. As for the on ice action, he said everyone is super excited.

“Last year we got snowed in pretty good,” he said. “Had to stop and shovel.”

Lescarbeau said having it this weekend is a good way to spend Family weekend. It is also Hockey Day in Canada in Kamloops.

Along with the Ice Dogs, the Penticton Speedway Vees, West Kelowna, Langley, Vancouver and a Seafar teams will face-off against each other. A special needs team has also been invited to play an exhibition game.

Penticton faces SeaFair at 4:30 p.m.on Feb. 5, then have two games on Feb. 6, the first at 10:30 a.m. against Vancouver and the second against Langley at 6 p.m. The playoff round action begins at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.