Under the watchful eye of the Southwest Bantam AAA Cougars, Don Dietrich (right) presents a cheque for $9,600 to Howard Koks from Parkinson’s Society Canada. (SUBMITTED)
For the second year, the Southwest Bantam AAA Cougars hosted a fundraising event for a medical charity — and this one was really close to home.
On March 8, the Cougars hosted the Interlake Lightning in a "Do it for Don" hockey game at the Killarney Shamrock Centre. Don, in this case, is Deloraine native Don Dietrich, whose NHL career was cut short by Parkinson’s disease.
Dietrich has remained heavily involved in local hockey and is now the director of player development for the bantam Cougars.
There were many highlights for the approximately 400 people who attended the "Do it for Don" event.
The Cougars squeaked out a 3-2 win against their rivals in an entertaining hockey game. Then the Killarney Imitation team of five-year-olds joined them for a scrimmage between periods — it was amazing to see these young men go out and play with the kids, no doubt creating fond memories for them all.
As for the fundraising, generous support poured in from throughout the Westman community and hockey supporters across Manitoba. Donations of cash, prizes for auction, 50/50 draws, and donations of ice and referee fees helped raise $9,600 for the Parkinson’s Society in honour of Don, southwestern Manitoba’s hockey hero.
Last year the Cougars held their first fundraising event in Killarney, where they raised funds for juvenile diabetes. It is hoped the team will continue this tradition in the future.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 27, 2014