Local junior hockey team holds cancer fundraiser

All proceeds from the Northeast Jr. Eagles’ final home game of the season will go to a summer camp for children with cancer. The Eagles face off against the Paradise Jr. Warriors 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Jack Byrne Regional Arena in Torbay.

Camp Delight is week-long summer camp held between July 21-27 every year. It’s open to both the children and families affected by cancer. (Supplied photo)

Cameron Gill

The Northeast Jr. Eagles hockey club is set to host its very first fundraiser event this Sunday, a specialty game it calls Camp Delight Night. 

The game, which pits the Eagles against the Paradise Jr. Warriors, will begin 7:30 p.m. at the Jack Byrne Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre in Torbay.

In support of the Candlelighters foundation, the Eagles will donate all proceeds from the game to Camp Delight, a week-long summer camp for children with cancer. .

“It’s a week of normalcy for these kids,” said Rikki Andrews, the program manager for the Candlelighters.

Andrews first got her start with the Candlelighters through Camp Delight as a volunteer.

Twenty years on, Andrews is one of two part-time employees with the organization, committing her spare time to improving the quality of life for these kids.

The foundation holds two large fundraisers of its own every year, including Night of Delight in November, and Spin for Camp Delight in April. Despite these efforts, the demands upon the organization still outweigh its financial intake. 

Realizing the foundation’s need for funds, the Eagles first discussed the idea of a fundraiser game last November.

“The more we can have those things going on, it’s community connections, it’s awareness, and bonus that it’s funds that come in to us,” said Andrews.

Any way we can help

Brian Martin, assistant coach of the Eagles, was approached with the idea by defenceman Thomas O’Brien, who volunteers as a camp counsellor every year with the foundation. 

“It’s really the Thomas O’Brien show,” said Martin.

Eagles defenceman Thomas O’Brien is a volunteer camp councillor for the Candlelighters Foundation. He first came up with the idea for Camp Delight Night in September. Cameron Gill/Kicker

The idea would soon turn into reality. Feb. 11 was chosen as the evening for the special event. The Eagles will host the Paradise Jr. Warriors in what is their last home game before playoffs get underway.

The Eagles organization says all funds, including those from ticket sales and a 50/50 draw, will be donated in support of supporting the camp.

“Well, as we know, cancer affects everybody, so this is huge, not only for myself, but for the whole team,” said Martin. “It affects everybody, so any way we can help, especially when it comes to kids, it’s huge for our organization.”

Multiple businesses that operate on the Northeast Avalon, as well as the towns in the region, will also make contributions in support of the event.

As Feb. 11 grows closer, the Eagles organization says it hopes Camp Delight Night becomes an annual event.

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