/Hockey for a cause

Hockey for a cause

Wings alumni come together to support the Y’s Night of Champions
Angie Stoecklin

400 people rallied into McMorran Place Arena on Nov. 20 in support of the YMCA’s charity event the Night of Champions. The combination of $100 dollar tickets, and the live and silent auctions featuring wings memorabilia raised a total of $30,000.
Former Red wings players took time out of their busy schedules to support the Y charity and took turns auctioning off their famous jerseys. In addition to the famed members of the “Grind Line,” Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, and Joe Kocur, Wing’s alumni Jason Woolley, Petr Klíma, John Ogrodnick, Brent Fedyk, and Eddie Mio added to the excitement of wings fans across McMorran Arena.
Keelly Baribeau, the Community Relations director for the Port Huron area school district, said that she is a big supporter of the YMCA and that she was excited to see some of the Red Wing’s players that she grew up watching as a teenager. “I thought, this would be a fun way to support an essential service and agency in our community,” Baribeau said.
The Blue Water YMCA, according to their website, promotes healthy living and fosters a sense of social responsibility. The money raised at Night of Champions went directly to the Y’s Open Arms program; a financial assistance program that allows those who cannot afford YMCA membership the opportunities that the Y offers.
While many highlights of the event took centerfold, the former Wing’s players were some of many who did not lose sight of the event’s true meaning.
“At the end of the night the major highlight is going to be how much we were able to raise for the YMCA, which is a great community place for people to use and have access to,” said Red Wing’s alumni Kirk Maltby.
Maltby, although his schedule is just as busy as the other alumni members, says that his attendance of the event was made a bit easier by the fact that he lives just 45 minutes away. Darren McCarty on the other hand, made the drive from his home in Florida to be a part of the Y’s charity and to visit the town he referred to as, “a big part of the Red Wings nation.”
McCarty say’s that the hospitality in Port Huron, as well as the turnout and the support in the Community made the long drive from Florida well worth it.
“I know this area pretty well so I’m grateful for the opportunity to come and give back for such a great cause,” McCarty said.