IceDogs raising autism awareness
The Niagara IceDogs will be wearing special jerseys for their game Saturday. PHOTO SPECIAL TO BSPN SPORTS
The Niagara IceDogs will have a different look Saturday for their home game versus the Ottawa 67’s.
The IceDogs will be wearing Autism Awareness themed jerseys at the game. October is Autism Awareness Month.
The jersey design features the puzzle piece and the puzzle piece ribbon which are symbols associated with autism. The thought process behind the puzzle piece is that each piece of a puzzle is unique. No two pieces are alike just like every person with ASD.
The IceDogs have absorbed the costs of the jersey design, and local auctioneer Luke Pasmore from Luke’s Auctions has donated his services to the team for a live auction of the jerseys post game. This means that 100 per cent of funds generated through the sales of these jerseys will go directly to Autism Ontario-Niagara Chapter.
“The IceDogs are incredible ambassadors for our cause,” said Fran Chesney, Chapter Manager, Autism Ontario, Niagara Region Chapter. “They are champions in every sense of the word on and off the ice. We thank them for showcasing the important work of Autism Ontario and your support of our programs serving an estimated 5,000 Niagara families affected by ASD.”
Plans are to have a family who are effected by autism drop the puck for the ceremonial face off. As well, there will be more than 150 people at the game with ties to the affliction.
IceDogs owner Bill Burke has a soft spot in his heart for those affected by autism.
“Over the years Denise (Burke) and I have met season ticket holders and fans who have children on the autism spectrum. We thought it would be a perfect opportunity to bring awareness to autism through an IceDogs game and at the same time raise some much needed funds for services that reach children in the Niagara Region,” he said.
Autism hits home for St. Catharines councillor Mat Sisco, whose son Darius has been diagnosed with the disorder.
“I have to hand it the Burkes and the IceDogs family — their decision to host a night for Autism Ontario has been an incredibly bright light,” Sisco said. “Our son loves to go to games, but struggles to be in the general crowd area; we purchase seats away from the loud crowd and over and above our season tickets to bring him when we can. Bill and Denise have always come over to give him a hug, and the occasions he gets a visit from Bones are always the best. We appreciate more than we can ever express the team’s commitment to raise awareness and funds for the kids and adults in our community that have Autism, and we’ll be happy to keep working with them while they continue this important work.”
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder. Everyone experiences ASD differently. All individuals with autism have some degree of difficulty with communication, social interaction and behaviour. Autism Ontario helps to ensure that each individual diagnosed with ASD is provided the means to achieve quality of life as a respected member of society.
The auction will be held after the game in section 105. Bidding starts at $200 and the following jerseys will be auctioned live: #3 Ben Jones, #4 Justin MacPherson, #7 Kyle Langdon, #8 Johnny Schaefer, #13 Kirill Maksimov, #15 Oliver Castleman, #16 Danial Singer, #17 Willy Lochead, #18 Matthew Philip, #23 Johnny Corniel, #26 Philip Tomasino, #30 Stephen Dhillon, #44 Akil Thomas, #67 Zach Shankar and #98 Elijah Roberts.
In addition an in-game jersey raffle will be taking place for #8 Johnny Schaefer’s jersey.
All remaining jerseys will go up for auction on line through the CHL Auction website beginning on October 27 and running through to November 5.