All in support of a good cause, the Elmira Sugar Kings players auctioned the jerseys off their backs on Jan. 22 after their win against the Guelph Hurricanes at the Woolwich Memorial Centre.
While the total is still being tallied, thousands of dollars was raised at the auction and is being donated to the Woolwich Counselling Centre (WCC) in Elmira, which has been providing professional counselling services to area residents since 1977.
The team wore the specialized jerseys on the auction block during their matinee game that day.
A few jerseys raised over $500 at the auction, with goalie Jonathan Reinhart’s jersey bringing in more than $800.
Beth Mason, WCC’s program director, said the organization couldn’t be more thankful for the substantial donations from the auction.
“We are very grateful to the Sugar Kings and recognize that events like this help further reduce the stigma of mental health in our community,” she said, adding that the need for counselling services in the township is only increasing. “The service need has definitely increased over the past few years… These funds will support our individual and family counselling programs, as well as other community groups for both adults and children.”
The money will also be buying child therapy supplies and resources, and to help the centre update what they already have on hand.
Jeff Snyder, the Kings’ director of hockey operations, said choosing the WCC as the beneficiary of the auction just made sense.
“We want to give back to the community and we thought this was a really good cause. We do this every year and we just try to spread it around to the places that need it,” he said.
Last year’s jersey auction, for instance, benefitted the Woolwich Community Services food bank.