The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings have provided entertainment to the city by playing 19 homes games thus far in the season, but playing hockey is only part of what it means to be a Red Wing.
Since the beginning of the season, the players have participated in a variety of volunteer events out in the community. The year started off with the entire team cleaning up and winterizing the Trossachs Camp for the Wheatland Community Church.
For the FCC’s Drive Away Hunger fundraiser, some of the players helped unload and sort the food brought in from the FCC at the Salvation Army.
As part of Pet Valu’s Jail and Bail fundraiser, Red Wing player Nick Dobson sat in kennel jail and raised over $250 worth of cash and food donations. He even committed to getting his hair cut as part of a deal made to receive donations.
For the Weyburn Comprehensive High School Communithon fundraiser auction, the Red Wings auctioned off a “Lunch with the Red Wings”. Antonius Quist was the lucky bidder and enjoyed having lunch with players Braden Birnie and Jevon Schwean at the school.
Wings with the Wings is a popular event for the Red Wings and so far they have done three this year. The players act as servers at Boston Pizza on Thursday Wings night and always serve to a packed restaurant of fans.
For the WCS annual Fowl Supper, the whole team loaned a helping hand with bringing food and empty dishes in and out of the kitchen to the service line, serving the food and dessert and helping clean up after the event.
Most of the players have adopted a local team to help support and assistant during their practices. Some of the teams that have an Adopted Teammate are the Novice Dodge Caravan Flyers with Dobson, and the Novice Oilers with Graham Skinner.
As the Christmas season approached, Quinton Hill, Dante Ballarain, Daytona Houle, Joseph Young and Liam Rutten visited the Weyburn Special Care Home to help put up Christmas decorations in some of the common areas. They also cheered on some of the tenants playing in the care home’s bowling competition that day.
The players have been a big help this year with helping sell Chase the Wing lottery tickets for the organization. Along with taking tickets to every volunteer event they go to, they have also been going out into the community and going door-to-door selling tickets.
When it comes to their younger fans, the guys are all about supporting and meeting them. For example, during the Initiation Tournament at Crescent Point Place, Jaxon Tait, Connor Pyne, Riley Little, Dobson, Ballarin, Houle and Skinner, took the time to graciously sign autographs and talk with children in the tournament. As well, the Red Wings regularly have a child act as the “7th Player” during their home games. During warmup, the Red Wings scratches will sit with the 7th Player on the players bench and watch warmup. Some of the players on the ice will take a moment during the warmup to come talk to the child or at least give them a fist bump. Between watching warmup and getting to skate on the ice with the players at the beginning of the game, it’s an unforgettable night for the child.
Quite a few of the players braved the cold to walk in the Parade of Lights and hand out candy. Some players were with the Red Wings float, while others were with the Olympia Fitness float.
The day after the parade, Jake Misskey, Sebastian Eger, Birnie, Rutten, Young, Hill, Houle, Tait and Skinner spent one afternoon set up at the Co-op and Wholesale food stores along with Wal-Mart, collecting donations for the Salvation Army.
Throughout the season Rhett Frey and Eger have helped out with the After School program which runs at Souris School every Monday. They entertain the children by playing games with them and help them with the organized activity for the day. Occasionally some of the other players will join them.
Most recently Jordan Gagnon, Dace Prymak, Shayde Peterson, Schwean, Eger and Little participated in the Pharmasve Kids Shopping Night. The guys were very kind and patient when helping the children pick out Christmas gifts for their families.
The Red Wings plan to continue their support in the community come the New Year. After playing in Yorkton against the Terriers on Dec.20, the team went off on holiday break. They return to the ice on Dec.30 to start a home-and-home series against the Estevan Bruins. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. at CPP.