PENHOLD – The grand old game of hockey played on for one special night last month in the name of charity before COVID-19 pandemic safety measures closed the Penhold Regional Multiplex for the season.
The Penhold Fire Department faced off against Bowden Institution correction officers in the 4th annual Charity Hockey Game at the Penhold Regional Multiplex on March 14.
“We thought with everything going on this year that it would be a big need this year,” said Jim Pendergast, Penhold fire chief and coach of Team Penhold, noting last year's event raised donations of over 200 pounds of food.
Once again, more than 200 pounds of food donations and $265 in cash donations were collected by Penhold firefighters for the Red Deer Food Bank.
Those donations made their way to the food bank in recent weeks, helping to bolster what's available for those in need.
About 15 players made up the Bowden roster, while 14 laced up for Penold, noted Pendergast, including town mayor Mike Yargeau, who took to the ice as a team member for the Penhold Fire Department.
The event followed all Alberta Health Services required protocol in place at the time and precautions were put in place, said Pendergast, adding the fire department also put in the same measures while on duty.
The multiplex also had appropriate health measures in place, including hand sanitizer dispensers. As in past charity contests, the Penhold Fire Department had a medical team on site during the game.
Provincial guidelines restricted the number of people in the arena to 250 at that time.
Joe Haineault, a Penhold firefighter and coordinator for Team Bowden, said they were thrilled to be a part of the annual fundraiser and to be able to help those in need.
“We’re always pumped. We just want a good game because it’s for a good cause,” said Haineault. “We don’t really care who wins, who loses. It’s just a good time for everyone that comes out and for the fans that show up.
Town of Penhold officials closed the Multiplex two days after the game in a bid to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.