When the puck hits the ice for the Rink of Dreams 24-hour hockey marathon game on March 18, it will be dropped by the hands of dreamers.
Rachael Buchanan and Nicole Bottles, two supportive members of the Help Fill A Dream Foundation, will drop the puck for the ceremonial faceoff between Team White and Team Black at Bear Mountain Arena.
Asked what they thought of an all-day, all-night hockey game as a charity fundraiser, both agreed it was out of their realm.
“That’s going take a lot of Red Bull,” joked 18-year-old Bottles.
“Yes, all those energy drinks,” added Buchanan, 20.
The Rink of Dreams will feature a double-dose of the fixings associated with adult recreational hockey, such as beer, a rock-and-roll atmosphere and coffee for those late-night and early-morning slots.
“I think people should come out just for the cachet of saying they saw (part of) the 24-hour game,” Bottles added.
Both Buchanan and Bottles regularly give back to the foundation as volunteers. When she was 15, Buchanan endured major surgery to mitigate seizures that weakened her. Her dream was filled with a new lap top and printer to help her with school work. She’ll take to centre ice in tandem with Bottles, who suffers from severe side effects caused by Lyme disease.
There’s been much debate over Lyme disease in the Canadian and U.S. health systems as it’s both difficult to diagnose and to treat. Bottles was assisted by the foundation with a trip to see specialists in Connecticut and in acquiring a new wheelchair, which she requires on a full-time basis.
“While there are still spots for teams and for singles to sign up, we want the community to know about our tailgate party,” said co-organizer Harp Sandhu.
You don’t need to play hockey, or even want to play hockey to be part of the the rock and roll Rink of Dreams family tailgate party on Saturday, March 18 from 11 to 3 p.m., Sandhu said.
Players officially take the ice at 4 p.m., Friday, March 18 until 4 p.m. Saturday.