By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Morinville Mavericks FunTeam are looking to pack the Ray McDonald Sports Centre Feb. 17 for a showdown between the barn-filling CFCW Critters and some vintage members of the Morinville Jets. The hockey game, which organizers are calling a true family event, is a fundraiser for the FunTeam program which has grown considerably since its introduction in Morinville a few years ago.
Mavericks spokesman and former Morinville Jet Tim Quinn said the Mavericks are hoping to raise $10,000 through the evening’s game and silent auction, the latter of which will be split between the Mavericks and École Georges P. Vanier School’s playground equipment initiative.
Quinn said the idea to bring the Critters to Morinville was the brainchild of Ray Meunier, one of founders of the Morinville FunTeam program.
“We had gotten grants from the town and all of that has been very helpful, but we were facing having to raise fees and we didn’t want to have to do that,” Quinn said, adding the program wants to continue to keep fees manageable for families. “This opportunity came up. We got our name on a list and were lucky enough we got picked.”
But while the Mavericks are sure the event will help them with the future growth of their increasingly successful hockey program, they are also confident that the faceoff between former Morinville Jets and the CFCW Critters will provide an evening of laughter and enjoyment for those who come out to take in the game.
“The way [they] described them to me is like the Harlem Globetrotters on skates, less the skill,” Quinn said of the popular Critters, adding the fundraising hockey team sells out arenas wherever they go. “It’s all for fun. They do a lot of really fun things that are interactive with the crowd. It’s their way of giving back to the community. They have a pretty loyal following. These events are well attended.”
Quinn said he’s warned his fellow Jets alumni who are coming out to take on the Critters that they may be the butt end of a joke.
While the Mavericks have plenty of action lined up on the ice, they have a fair bit lined up off the ice as well. Quinn said one of the highlights of the evening will be a silent auction with some pretty high-profile and high-end items up for bid.
One of those items is a complete furnace package valued at between $6,500 and $7,500. Quinn, owner of Quinn’s Plumbing and Heating, said he’s put together a package that features the company’s best furnace with the best parts and features.
“If you bid four grand on it, you’re saving three,” Quinn said of the silent auction item. “I felt like we needed something and luckily I’ve got the contacts to do it. My guys have stepped up and they’re donating their time for the install.”
But the silent auction, which Quinn said has already got a wide range of great items, is not just benefitting the Mavericks. The team will be splitting the proceeds with Vanier School to assist with their plans to purchase new playground equipment.
Additionally, visitors to the evening’s entertainment are encouraged to bring a food bank donation. The Morinville Food Bank Society will be on hand to collect donations of non perishable goods.
“The ideas are just flowing,” Quinn said. “I think it’s going to be a real classy event. Mayor Bertschi’s going to be there to drop the puck.”
The Critters / Jets game takes place Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or $10 per family.