Regular watchers of the Victoria Grizzlies won’t be surprised Friday (Nov. 21) and Sunday to see the normally black-and-gold clad skaters don powder blue jerseys.
The new gear has been part of the Grizzlies’ B.C. Hockey League home games all this month, as it pays tribute to the Movember fundraising efforts for men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer and mental health.
During Sunday’s game against Trail at The Q Centre (2 p.m. start), the game-worn mustachioed bear jerseys of players Cole Pickup and Storm Wahlrab will be auctioned off at the game as part of Movember Mustache Madness, a day of fundraisers co-ordinated by the team and the Victoria Grizzlies Booster Club. The rest of the blue jerseys will be auctioned off online to raise more money.
“Our slogan is, ‘In Support of Men’s Health, Go Below the Belt,’” says Grizzlies office manager Vickie Macilroy. “I would love to make it over $10,000 raised.”
Macilroy worked with the folks at sporting goods supplier Bauer to design the jerseys, which also feature the distinctive blue necktie logo for prostate cancer fundraisers, and the discarded ideas for the bear mustache along the sleeves.
Fans are encouraged to wear blue for the occasion, which will also feature 50/50 draws and a silent auction of plenty of great donated items, Macilroy says. Donations can also be made through the Grizzlies' Movember page at http://ca.movember.com/team/1519249
Funds raised will go toward the B.C. Cancer Foundation but stay local, she adds. The players are even involved, as virtually all are playing in honour of someone in their lives who is or has battled cancer.
"The boys have blue name tags above their stalls and they each wrote on a slip to say who they're playing for this month," Macilroy says. She wasn't surprised at how pervasive cancer is in touching the players' families, but says she was pleased at the participation level. "All but two players wrote down a name."
Pickup, for example, is playing for Zack Downey, a longtime friend who passed away from cancer at 18 earlier this year.
The Grizzlies, coming off a 5-4 road win over the Clippers in Nanaimo last night, host their Island rivals Friday night at 7 p.m.
Grizzlies partner with Santa's Anonymous
For all home games at The Q Centre until Dec. 13, Grizzlies hockey fans have a chance to pass along new, unwrapped toys or clothing for Christmas hampers to be assembled and distributed through CFAX Santa's Anonymous next month.
Donations can be placed in a green bin to be located inside the arena during games, while a truck from the Two Burley Men moving company will be parked outside collecting items for its Stuff the Truck Christmas charity campaign.
As well, the Grizzlies Booster Club will feature its annual teddy bear toss at home games for the next month, with all bears going to families in need. Call 250-385-1555 for more details about the various fundraisers and events.