Leamington Stands Strong

By Kevin O’Neil

(LEAMINGTON, ON) – For the past 12 years, the police in Leamington have held the Oldtimer’s Hockey Challenge charity hockey game with proceeds being donated to WE Care for Kids and more recently Cops 4 Charity.

WE Care for Kids is a local charity that raises money to purchase paediatric equipment for hospitals in Leamington and Windsor, along with the John McGivney Centre. Formed in 1997, WE Care for Kids has now raised more than 6.5 million dollars.

Cops 4 Charity is run by community services officers at OPP Detachments within Essex County. Money raised from this goes towards Cop Camp, where we send 90 Grade 6 students to camp each August for five days, plus supporting various charities throughout the County.

On Saturday, February 22, 6:00 pm in Leamington, the OPP will be hosting the Legendary Hockey Hero’s in our 13th annual charity game. We are proud that we have now donated $260,000 from our previous games.

This year’s game, though, will take on special meaning as we are dedicating the game to the employees, retirees, and families of H.J Heinz, and are hosting Leamington Stands Strong. We are pleased to announce that we are donating 1,000 tickets free of charge to Heinz employees and their families. We think that it’s important for those people to have something to look forward to, if only for one night.

Appearing in Leamington will be the Hanson Brother’s from the classic hockey movie Slap Shot. Also playing will be one of the most popular players in Leaf history, Doug Gilmour.

The Legendary Hockey Hero’s will be comprised of player’s who suited up for Toronto or Detroit, including Rick Vaive, Gary Leeman, Brad May, Al Iafrate, Pat Ribble, Ric Nattress, Petr Klima, Joe Kocur, John Ogrodnik, and Eddie Mio.

Advanced tickets are $5 and are available at the Kinsmen Recreation Complex, Leamington Walmart, Scotiabank, Source for Sports, Bowman Sports, and the Sports Den. The first 500 kids 14 and under will receive free pizza and licensed driver’s 16 and over will have a chance to win a new car.

Over the past couple of months there has been many comments about made about the Heinz closure and we would the public to know, if they want to show their support for the many affected employees who will lose their jobs, and for the community, we are asking that you come out Leamington on February 22, 6:00 pm at (ironically) the Heinz Rink at the Kinsmen Recreation Complex.

One more very important detail; we are asking that everyone who attends to WEAR RED!

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata

Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States.
Email Ian Shalapata

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