Last year's Green Shirt Day for Organ Donor Awareness and Registration was a smash hit at the SLS Centre, and an even bigger event is planned for Apr. 7.
Once again, the SLS Centre, in partnership with Green Shirt Day 2023, is hosting free drop-in family-friendly road hockey in its parking lot from 1 to 5 p.m.
The centre has added an indoor ball hockey tournament and registration is now open for teams and individuals with a nominal fee to cover costs. Players must be at least 10 years old to participate and each team must have a player who is 10 to 13 years old. It's three-on-three with a goalie.
The event is capped at 12 teams, and registration closes on Mar. 31. Click here for details.
"Last year was so much fun," says Greg Hnatuk, one of the organizers and an organ recipient. "We had lots of families come out and they had a great time. This year it's even built bigger and better."
Once again, Cochrane Generals and Chaos will be there to lend a hand, plus they have some special guests that will be announced soon, including some former NHLers, says Hnatuk.
People will be on hand to discuss the organ donation registry and help interested people sign-up electronically. You'll also be able to talk to organ and tissue transplant recipients.
"We're looking to bring people out to talk about organ and tissue donations, and things that they might have questions about," he says.
"But more importantly, it's Spray Lakes showing us how a healthy lifestyle and good exercise are so important for us, especially people who are struggling with organ diseases. Our first defence is to keep healthy, to stay active."
Green is the colour of the day.
"We're encouraging people to wear green and light up green," he says. "Put on your Christmas lights or put lights on your trees. Put out a hockey stick in remembrance of the Humboldt tragedy to remember the seriousness of that accident, and how, out of that very, very dark time in our hockey history came a ray of hope through Logan Boulet donation."
Logan was a 21-year-old defenceman for the Humboldt Broncos and one of 16 people killed in the tragic bus crash. He succumbed to injuries on Apr. 7, 2018. By donating his organs, he saved six lives.
Logan's decision to become a registered donor was inspired by his coach and mentor Ric Suggitt, who was also an organ donor and saved six lives. It was a decision also supported by his parents, Bernadine and Toby Boulet.
The actions of Logan and his family have inspired more people to become registered organ and tissue donors and has lead to more transplants to save lives.
At nightfall, the Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge will be lit in green to recognize Green Shirt Day and the Logan Boulet Effect.
Green Shirt Day apparel is available from Green Shirt Day 2023 here.