Manitoulin Panthers make large contributions to Christmas food basket campaign

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Panthers peewee hockey team had an extremely successful campaign in raising money and collecting food donations for Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) and the latter’s Christmas Food Basket campaign.

Scot Hughson, coach of the Panthers team told the Recorder on Monday (after all the donations of food and money had been collected by members of the team), “we were at $4,658.30 in cash raised, plus we had another $430 come in and received another donation of $1,000 from the Ducks (a Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) team that carried out a cultural exchange with the Panthers squad and were in Little Current over the weekend and Monday).

“It was unbelievable the amount of food we had donated to us,” stated Mr. Hughson. “We had a van from McQuarrie Motors jammed with food items, and another jammed three-quarters full. The local people are extremely generous. All the food and cash donations have been dropped off at the food bank, and some of our kids will be at the church in Mindemoya helping pack the Christmas baskets.”

As was reported in the Recorder last week, the Panthers team raised money and collected food donations for MFR at two Island grocery stores earlier this month. The players bagged groceries and carried them out for customers and in turn customers had the opportunity to provide a monetary or food donation in one of the boxes the Panthers provided in the stores.

The Panthers team is entered into the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup competition this year. The premise of the contest is ‘to inspire young Canadians to do good by transforming the positive values through hockey into good deeds.’

The Panthers also received assistance from the Ducks, the team that carried out a cultural exchange with the Panthers squad. “The Ducks team were here on the weekend, and we had dinner after a game we played (on Sunday),” said Mr. Hughson. “We will be playing an exhibition game against them when we go travel visit them in Toronto on the January 10-12 weekend. He noted as well both teams went to Wiikwemkoong on Monday where they learned about trapping and skinning, with demonstrations put on by Norm Assinewai. “We were all gathered at the home base on Rabbit Island centre, and played a game of road hockey, visited the trap line, and had lunch prepared by the Wiiky Lands Department, and then had a Wampum Belt teaching by Andrew ‘Stitch’ Manitowabi. Also thanks to Glen Toulouse for assisting with the day.”

Last week, Manitoulin Transport also presented a cheque in the amount of $3,500 to the Panthers for their fundraising campaign for MFR. Clayton Best, on behalf of the Panthers, also encouraged everyone to go online and submit an entry in support of the Panthers being selected for the Good Deeds Cup, with submissions required by January 15, 2020. Members of the Panthers team are also writing and sending out letters to Canada Armed Forces service members overseas.

The Panthers peewee team is made up of coach Hughson and players Grayson Orford, Ryland Priddle, Keannu Bisschops, Rylan Carrick, William McComb, Kyle Nodecker, Jack Carter, Noah Grenier, Corbin Best, Gage Hughson, Mya Balfe, Zaagaasge Toulouse, Liam Lariviere, Caleb Lockyer, Zacharie Seguin, Isabella Hughson and Kallan Jones. Team staff members include Clayton Best, Jacqueline Carter, Jason Hughson, Daylin Orford and Travis Orford.