Record amount at Battle of the Badges

Cst. Travis Adema and Lt. Rick Burnett take part in the ceremonial puck drop at the seventh annual Battle of the Badges hockey game Nov. 25.

By Mac Christie
 
The 7th annual Battle of the Badges hockey game was the biggest yet, raising at least $5,000 for the Salvation Army, plus food donations.

All money and food raised goes to the Salvation Army’s Empty Stocking Fund, which helps to provide toys and food so that less fortunate families can enjoy a good Christmas.

The bulk of the money was raised by selling raffle tickets for an autographed Taylor Hall Edmonton Oilers jersey, but the game also saw the biggest crowd ever, said Salvation Army Maj. Peter Eason.

“The response this year has been absolutely incredible,” he said. “This is way beyond anything we’ve raised during the Battle of the Badges, I would say easily, in terms of money, probably 10 times any other year.”

Eason said the $5,000 alone was more than previous years, not counting donations at the door or food donations.

“We brought 20 boxes for food donation and they’re full to overflowing,” he said. “That’s got to be twice what we did last year, so the food donation has been off the charts as well.”

The game, a showdown pitting the local RCMP and EMS against personnel from the fire department, was held Nov. 25 at the Meadow Lake arena. The game was won by the RCMP 8-6, breaking the tie in the series which was deadlocked 3-3.

But Cst. Travis Adema of the RCMP, one of the organizers of this year’s game, said it’s all about the cause.

“I think a lot of us are lucky to have good times at Christmas and we want to promote that cheer throughout the holiday season for everybody else,” he explained. “At the end of the day, I think the entire city of Meadow Lake and the surrounding area should be applauded for their help.”

Eason added that the donations are especially important this year.

Meadow Lake RCMP Cst. Travis Adema (left) and the Meadow Lake Fire Department’s Rick Burnett present a cheque for $5,000 dollars to Maj. Peter Eason of the Salvation Army at the 7th annual Battle of the Badges hockey game. The money, raised by selling raffle tickets for an autographed Taylor Hall jersey, will go to the Salvation Army’s empty stocking fund. The game, held Nov. 25, was won by the RCMP 8-6.

“We’re incredibly grateful, because the demands on us are as heavy as they’ve ever been,” he noted. “This all goes to our efforts at Christmas and anything that’s left over carries us through the year. Although it’s keenly felt at Christmas, need knows no season.”

The game itself was a back and forth affair which saw the fire department build up a 5-2 lead, before the RCMP stormed back to tie the score at 6-6.

Then with 39 seconds left, Brad Mee scored for the RCMP, before Adema added an empty net goal to seal the victory.

While the game is all about charity, there was a bit of pride on the line, admitted Sgt. Phil DeGruchy of the RCMP.

“It’s for a good cause and it’s to have fun,” he said. “But when we’re out there it’s game on. We won’t let (the fire department) forget it, that’s for sure.”

Eason noted it will be hard to top this year’s game in the future, but they’ll try.

“Perhaps we’ll be able to secure some special guests for next year,” he said. “We’re going to keep trying to see this thing get bigger and bigger.”

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