Grizzlies, MFRC reunited in annual fundraiser 

Grizzlies MFRC

Victoria Grizzlies players get ready for the draw in the ceremonial opening puck drop for Military Appreciation Night at the Q-Centre in Colwood on March 19. They were joined by MFRC Board Chair Samantha Krzywonos, her son Ben Krzywonos, and military veteran Steve Doucette. Photo Credit: Kyle Robinson.

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

Victoria Grizzlies Military Family Appreciation Night made a triumphant return to the Q-Centre in Colwood.

The annual charity benefit game for the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 public health measures but made a successful return March 19.

Despite a 2-1 loss on the ice to Coquitlam, off ice the junior hockey team scored a victory in helping raise funds for the MFRC and offering discounted tickets to the military.   

“It was inspiring and uplifting to bring our military families together again and honour them with a celebration and some entertaining hockey,” says Lisa Church, MFRC Community Engagement Manager. “It was a fun and affordable evening for military families who attended.”

A fundraising tailgate barbeque was hosted by the MFRC in the arena parking lot. Representatives from the (BC) 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, and 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron had display booths on site.

Inside the arena, Grizzlies’ players wore specially designed military-themed jerseys for the game and held an online auction for them following the game. A Frisbee throw fundraiser during first period intermission and a portion from a 50/50 draw will be donated to the Esquimalt MFRC. 

The BCHL team has traditionally hosted military appreciation nights over the years but their relationship with the MFRC is a relatively new one.

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