The Hay River Rusty Blades oldtimers hockey team is in the giving spirit.
On Dec. 13, the team donated $25,000 to the five schools in Hay River and on the Hay River Reserve, along with $5,000 to the Lights On program.
Two representatives of the Rusty Blades – Mike Maher and Bill Gostick – made the presentations at the Christmas assembly at Princess Alexandra School on Dec. 13.
They were introduced to the students, teachers and parents by principal Carolyn Carroll, who thanked them for the team’s “generous donation” for the five schools.
“They have turned this Friday the 13th into the luckiest day of the year,” she said.
Maher told the assembly that the Rusty Blades understand the importance of sports and activities for youth.
“And we know the budgets are challenging,” he said. “So we’re donating $25,000 to the five Hay River schools to be divvied up amongst them.”
Maher said the money could help students travel or could be used to buy equipment.
“Whatever is needed,” he said. “We’ll leave it up to the schools to decide that.”
The $5,000 donation to Lights On was accepted by Tara Boudreau, the vice-principal at Princess Alexandra School and a volunteer with Lights On, a weekend program for young people.
“We understand the importance of keeping the kids active,” said Maher.
Following the presentations, Maher told The Hub that the Rusty Blades give money to different groups every year.
“This is a fairly important one with budgets tightening for travel, especially for school teams,” he said of the donation to the five schools. “It’s challenging for schools to travel to sporting events. And all of us have memories of going on trips, whether it’s soccer or volleyball or basketball or whatever. The character that that develops is really important.”
As for the donation to Lights On, Maher said, “It’s keeping kids active and giving them alternatives to hanging out on the street and stuff. They do great work, so it’s easy for us to support them.”
The money for donations comes from bingos run by the Rusty Blades.