Celebrity servers were on hand Monday night at Boston Pizza fundraising for the recently announced, Shirley Pickering Memorial Fund.
The fund, created by the Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey Association (SLMHA), immortalizes the life and work of Sylvan Lake’s longest residing resident, Shirley Pickering, who spent 73years of her life living in the town only a few blocks from the arena.
The Shirley Pickering Memorial Fund will help fund families and players within SLMHA and continue her legacy of giving.
Shirley’s sons, Darren and Daryl, both played hockey in Sylvan Lake, as well as a number of her grandchildren.
Darren, now a teacher at C.P. Blakely School, is actively involved with the SLMHA board, with both his children now also playing hockey in Sylvan Lake.
“She followed her kid’s teams, her grand kid’s team, she followed the neighbourhood kids’ teams – she was always welcoming of all of the other kids on our teams,” said Darren of his mother’s contributions to SLMHA. “Pat Garritty [head coach of the Midget AA West Central Trilliant Tigers] said it best when he said there was a lot of grilled cheese served up at her house.”
“She’d be sitting there with her blanket and wrap some one else’s kid up in it if they were cold. She was always a part of the hockey community and that’s what people remember her for and that will be her legacy.”
Darren said the fund is truly the epitome of his mother’s life as she was always willing to give.
“Having a fund like this shows Sylvan minor hockey is about the hockey – it’s about kids being able to have these experiences,” he stated. “It’s about making sure kids don’t miss out on the experiences minor hockey and organized sports allow for.”
Darren, along with SLMHA vice president, Shea Karcha and Mike Laturnus were the celebrity servers for the evening with tips earned by the celebrity servers being donated back to theShirley Pickering Memorial Fund, as well as a portion of Boston Pizza’s food and beverages sales also going back to the fund.
Fellow celebrity server Shea Karcha agreed it was a rewarding evening knowing where their hard work was going.
“Every kid should get a chance to play organized sports – whether it’s hockey, baseball or soccer,” said Karcha. “Hockey is an incredible sport and it teaches us that success is driven through the whole as opposed to the one and that really comes across with Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey.”
General manager of Boston Pizza, Shaun Grondin, explained the partnership with SLMHA was the first of many they hope to form in the community and was made possible through the Boston Pizza Foundation’s Future Prospects Fund.
“There are still some calculations that need to be made but I think I can safely say around the $1,000 mark has been raised so far,” said Grondin on the celebrity server night. “So many of our staff members are involved in minor hockey through their children and we wanted to give back in any way we can. Hockey is a big part of Sylvan Lake.”
Boston Pizza will be keeping the ball rolling for the rest of the month of March providing customers with the chance to round up their bill to the nearest dollar with proceeds going back to the Shirley Pickering Memorial Fund. Grondin added each month they hope to have a fundraising event to support different charity organizations and community partners.