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IceCaps Insider: Family Values Posted by IceCaps on

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Booster Club member Lisa Ward (left) presents a cheque during an IceCaps home game in March

Booster Club volunteers give back to community | National Volunteer Week 2014
Chris Ballard

The St. John’s IceCaps Booster Club is more than just a group of dedicated volunteers behind one of the American Hockey League’s busiest 50/50 draws.

They’re a family.

No, really.

Volunteering for the Booster Club is a family affair for Bernard and Mary Doyle; Dave, Lisa and Diane Ward; and Garry and Maureen Kavanagh.

In addition to volunteering their time in all corners of the city, the gang got into the 50/50 business following in the footsteps of their children who first donated their time to meet their school’s community service requirements.

“Our daughter got us into it,” Lisa said.

Logo_Volunteer.201K6_main“She was doing it for school and she got me into it and I got (Dave) into it. When she came down here, they actually needed more volunteers, so that’s how we got here. She gave it up and went back to school but we stayed.”

“And this is not the only volunteer gig we do,” Bernard chimed.

“Myself and Mary also do the annual Folk Festivals and I volunteer at the local Resource Center for the Arts at the (LSPU) Hall. I’ve been a lifelong volunteer. It’s good when you can involve your family members in it too.”

They’re not the only family members in the group. Many relatives – from brothers and sisters, to nieces and nephews, to husbands and wives – have been known to pitch in on a given night.

They all enjoy coming to the rink and working together to bring the hockey fans at Mile One Centre more than just an opportunity to walk home with a not-too-shabby five-figure prize on game nights.

What they bring to the table is immeasurable. They’re there to greet you, same section every game. Their voices ring pleasantly in your ears long after you’ve left the building.

They keep coming down, not to get a free peek at the hottest ticket in town, but they’re there because they want to help their community.

“The other great thing about volunteering here is the fact that we get to help so much with the charity,” Mary said.

“A lot of charities really get a benefit from what we do.”

“It’s nice to know where the money is going to,” Dave said with a smile.

“We’ll see IceCaps staff go off with big cheques (for local charities). It’s nice to see the fruits of your labour come together like that.”

Their spirit is evident as you walk about the concourse. Not only are they helping raise funds for great causes across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador through IceCaps Care and the Williams Family Foundation, they’re doing it with smiles on their faces as they make the total IceCaps experience that much sweeter.

“Upstairs as a seller, you almost get to become friends with the people you meet,” Bernard said.

“You get your regulars that won’t buy a ticket off him, but they will buy one from me. It’s a little rivalry. It’s fun. Everybody knows you. If I’m walking down the street, somebody will bawl out “50/50 here!”

“When you miss a game, somebody will say ‘Where were you? You weren’t in your regular spot.’ That’s a good feeling there too.”

“We’re all like a family down here,” Lisa said. “It’s always so nice to see everybody.”

The gang agrees that making a difference in their community is the reason they continue to donate their time game after game. While thousands of individuals and families across the province get to benefit from their efforts, nothing beats the feeling of seeing first hand that you’ve truly made a difference.

“I remember one of the first times I was doing it,” Dave remembers.

“A mother came down and she was shaking as we were handing over the cheque. Her little girl looked up and said ‘Mom, can I buy some sneakers now?’ I thought that was really good. That one stuck with me.”

 

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