OLDS — Two organizers of the Battle of the Broncos, a fundraiser hockey game held Nov. 28 between first responders and the Olds College Broncos, was such a success they’d like to see it occur annually.
The event was the brainchild of community resources officer Olds RCMP Const. Mitch Price.
The fundraiser for the Mountain View Emergency Shelter Society raised at least $4,000, Price said during an interview with the Albertan.
The first responders included members of the Olds, Airdrie and Calgary fire departments as well as Olds and Didsbury RCMP, and École Deer Meadow School vice-principal Jenn Jackson.
Price and Broncos captain Sydney Jack say the fundraiser was so successful and so much fun they can't wait to organize next year’s edition.
“We've already entered into talks about doing it next year,” Price said.
“I was very impressed with the community turnout,” he added. “I didn't really know what to expect going in, with it being our first time doing it.
“But I was very happy to see that a good chunk of the community came out and supported us and helped us with raising money for the shelter.”
In fact, the crowd that came out was pretty close to the average crowd at an Olds Grizzlys junior A hockey game.
Although it wasn’t really the point, the score was 11-3 for the first responders.
The point was to raise money for the shelter and to have a good time, to entertain the crowd.
Price agreed that the Broncos got out to a strong start in the first period.
“They were fast. They were moving their feet and yeah, the first period was definitely a tough one,” he said.
However, Price said as time went on, the first responders began to take the game to the Broncos.
“I think some of our guys just started shooting the puck a little bit more, getting pucks on net, and there were a lot of bodies out there moving around.
“We got a couple that squeaked through and ended up in the back of their net,” he said.
But Price said in his opinion, the score didn’t reflect how close the match really was.
“We were there to raise money, but by the same token I would say from a playing standpoint it was taken seriously to a degree; still competitive. Everyone was still playing to win.”
Perhaps the only disappointing aspect of the event was that none of the three shooters won the $10,000 shoot to win event in the second intermission, sponsored by Hildebrand Motors.
“It would have been would have been nice to see one of them win it,” Price said.
Jack loved the game too and was also impressed by the size of the crowd.
“It was super amazing,” she said. Our whole team was super excited for it and it was lots of fun.”
Jack said throughout the game, the Broncos and first responders were chirping each other.
“I know we lost, but we still had lots of fun doing it and we hope to we get to do it again next year for sure,” she said.
In perhaps the first bit of chirping going into next year’s event, Jack said while the first responders did score several goals, “I think we just gave him a lot of opportunities to shoot.”
She admitted though that the first responders do have a lot of “pretty good shooters.”
Jack can’t imagine changing anything about the game for next year except for one possible thing.
“I think if you did it around Christmas time, we could dress as Christmas-themed or something,” she said. “That would add a little bit of something different to it.”