June 16th, 2024

Lightning hosting Badges vs. Bolts Charity Hockey Challenge

By Dale Woodard on January 14, 2022.

The Lethbridge Lightning men’s hockey team are ready to strike for a good cause.

On Saturday night at Nicholas Sheran Arena, the Lightning will drop the gloves in the ongoing battle against cancer as the team hosts the first Badges Versus Bolts Charity Hockey Challenge.

The game, which starts at 7:30 p.m. will feature the Lightning taking on a team of Lethbridge police, RCMP and fire and emergency crew members in a charity game with 20 per cent of ticket sales going toward the Jack Ady Cancer Centre.

“A lot of our players are also professionals who work in and around the community,” said Rob Zintel, director of hockey operations for the Lethbridge Lightning, also a constable with the RCMP with the Coaldale detachment. “We have police officers, electricians and many different professionals who play hockey. They actually brought the suggestion to the board and we thought that would be a good connection to the community.”

The battle against cancer has hit close to home for the Lightning organization and on Saturday night, those stories will be shared.

“Our Lethbridge family has been affected greatly,” said Zintel. “We’ve been in Lethbridge since 2017 as a non-profit hockey organization. But we’ve had many of our players and staff and their families affected by cancer.

Of those is vice president/public relations director Brian Treadwell, who is currently battling the disease, as well as Deborah Edmonds, who passed away a year ago.

“She was just a super person in the community, very volunteer-oriented and her son (Devery) played for the Lightning for the first three years,” said Zintel. “What a better tie-in to pay tribute to people who have been volunteers to us and contribute to a great cause. We’re going to share both Deborah’s and Brian’s stories during the intermission. We’re going to have a cheque presentation after the second period.”

Tony Deys will act as emcee and announcer for the event, while Lethbridge mayor Blaine Hyggen will drop the puck.

Zintel said the Lightning had originally planned on having prizes at the game, but due to COVID-19 restrictions had to scale back on their efforts.

“So we’re relying heavily on ticket sales to raise a lot of money for cancer.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Lethbridge Tactical Supply or by calling Zintel at (403) 647-4103 to get set up for tickets at the front entrance at Nicholas Sheran Arena

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors and $10 for those 18-and-under. Children five-and-under get in free.

“We’ve had a positive response. Of course, we want to remain safe and cautious going into an event during COVID,” said Zintel.

“We would love to be on the other side of COVID and sell out Nicholas Sheran, which can hold up to 900-plus people. But this event is a little more scaled back. Ticket sales are very solid right now.”

The hope is to make the Badges Versus Bolts Charity Hockey Challenge an annual one, said Zintel.

“Some of our agencies had to back out due to manpower issues and just not enough people on the streets during this time. But we still have 17 emergency services players who have come out, which is a really good turnout. We really appreciate all of our emergency services willing to help out and raise money for this cause.”

The Badges team features officers from different services, including the Lethbridge Police Service, RCMP, Blood Tribe and emergency services dispatchers,” said Zintel.

“It’s really a diverse emergency services group and a group that I think can relate to hockey and have played some high level hockey in the past. I think the connection with the community will be really noticeable.”

The Restrictions Exemption Program is in effect for Saturday’s game.

“We request they bring a facemask,” said Zintel. “We are down to half capacity at Nicholas Sheran. So that factors into how many people we can have. But it’ll still be a huge success.”

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