Defence community receives “Royal” treatment

Victoria Royals puck drop on Defence Team appreciation night

Centre Ice puck drop at the Save-on-Foods arena during the Defence Team Appreciation Night where the Victoria Royals and the Kelowna Rockets played their second of a two game series on Jan. 18. In front (left to right): Kelowna Rockets team captain Madison Bowey and Victoria Royals team captain Jordan Fiansoo face off. In the rear row (left to right): PO1 Ian Biller; navy mascot Sonar; Sailor of the year LS Dale Armstrong with daughter (and puck dropper) Naomi Armstrong; Director of Civilian Human Resources at CFB Esquimalt Michael Holt; Base Commander Capt(N) Luc Cassivi; Victoria Royals representative Darren Parker, and Victoria Royals mascot Marty the Marmot.

The Victoria Royals hit the ice of the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre last Saturday Jan. 11 against the Kelowna rockets, and from the stands the Defence Community cheered them on.

The event marked the 2014 Defence Team Appreciation Night, where the “Boys in Royal Blue” offered discounts, prizes, and activities to the community they hold so dear.

“Victoria is a military town. It always has been and always will be,” says Darren Parker, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Victoria Royals. “We want to honour the connection and heritage while giving something back to our fans in the community.”

For CAF Appreciation Night the Royals offered 250 complimentary and discounted tickets to military and civilian defence personnel, 50/50 raffles, interactive displays and a bit of military flair.

The Royals wore special Defence Team Appreciation Night jersey during the game, which were auctioned off to raise money for the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC).

“Organizations like the MFRC are the lifeblood of the military community. It’s important to support something which supports so many people,” says Parker. “The jerseys also serve to highlight the connection our players feel towards the military, and they look pretty good too.”

Over $4,000 was raised for the MFRC during the live auction alone, with more rolling in through the online portion. Parker says the Defence community is a giving one, so it’s no surprise the donations keeping coming.

“It’s a proud and enthusiastic group,” he says. “They’re always there to help, whether it’s their families or the families of others there’s always so much generosity.”

While the Royal’s fell to the Rockets that night, the important part was respecting the link between the Canadian Armed Force (CAF) and the community on which it stands.

Parker says the team, managers, and everyone else loves the opportunity to get involved and is excited by the future of the project.

“We’ve got a good platform to do some good here and you can bet we’re going to take advantage of it,” says Parker. “This event is always a blast, and the community loves it. We hope to keep this going for as long as possible and give back as much as we can.”

For those looking to place a bid on the Defence Team Appreciation Night jersey, visit

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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