When the Elmira Sugar Kings take on the Listowel Cyclone February 16 at the WMC, they’ll be sporting special sweaters reflecting the recipients of this year’s charity game: Kate’s Kause.
The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off after the match, with the proceeds going to the charitable group’s latest project, accessible washrooms in Elmira’s Gibson Park.
Just what those sweaters look like remains a closely guarded secret at this point, however.
“Even the players don’t know until they take to the ice,” said club vice-president Scott Basler.
The special event later this month extends an annual tradition that has seen fundraising done for the likes of Elmira District Community Living (EDCL), Friends of Hockey, Woolwich Counselling Centre and the Woolwich Thrashers sledge hockey program. The game and auction typically garner north of $5,000 each year.
For this year, Kate’s Kause was chosen as the recipient given their local work and the push for its latest project.
“The timing worked out really well – it’s a good fit,” said Basler of coordinating with Kate’s Kause.
“It’s such a cool idea that they do those special jerseys,” said the charity’s Kelly Meissner, whose daughter Kate has Angelman Syndrome, a rare neurogenetic disorder characterized by a severe global developmental delay.
The washroom project will enhance the experience of the adjacent accessible playground, Kate’s Place for Everyone, that was the group’s initial project back in 2012. The $200,000 fundraising goal is now within sight, said Meissner.
“We are super close. We’ve had some huge success with grants,” she said, noting the group is eager to proceed. “We love to be able to provide awesome services for our community.”
Having accessible washrooms nearby means families can stay longer to enjoy the park rather than having to leave to deal with the bathroom situation.
On the day of the Sugar Kings game and auction, Kate will be dropping the puck. Kate’s Kause will also have a display table set up with information about the charity and its project.
“A friend is also making angel cookies for sale that day,” said Meissner. “It’s going to be a great community day.”
“It will pretty much revolve around Kate’s Kause that day,” said Basler of the February 16 event. “It works out that it’s on the Family Day weekend, so it should be a great day.”