Team Halbert coach Brian Sutter gives some words of advice and praise to Nash Bamford, Gord’s son, during the second period of the charity game.

Bamford Charity Hockey game turns from fun into charity contest

Gord Bamford pleased with Ponoka’s support to hockey game

A normally private and fun hockey game quickly went viral and drew a lot of support from the public.

Canadian country music star, and central Alberta native, Gord Bamford hosted what’s being called the first ever Christmas Charity Classic on Dec. 21 at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex. The game featured Team Bamford versus Team Halbert — Bamford’s business partner — both filled with a few former professional hockey players and personal friends.

However, Bamford didn’t expect that his normally private and usually casual hockey game would grow into the event that it did.

“I started having these games a few years back just as a way to get together with the guys,” Bamford said, noting the games stopped for a couple years when the family lived in Nashville.

“I decided that since we came back…that I would get back into having the game again. Since I’ve been to the (Ponoka) Stampede a lot and I loved it here, I thought this would be a good fit.”

And initially, Bamford thought the event would be just the normal low key fun game, but things changed once word got out about the contest on social media. It was announced and transformed into a charity event with donations for the Ponoka Food Bank being taken by the Lacoka bantam girls hockey squad.

“Typically, this was not that big, but it’s great that people here in Ponoka want to come out and that they really supported the food bank with all of the donations,” Bamford stated.

“The support shown was great and the guys had some good fun out there playing. However, there is no doubt we were out there to win,” he joked.

Along with Bamford, there were a few other notable celebrities including recent former NHL players Curtis Glencross and Colin Fraser, as well as successful NHLers Duane and Brian Sutter, who acted as coaches for the two teams.

“Being part of this is very special. Gord helps us out with our many charities and many other things, so anytime we can help him out it’s what we try to do,” said Brian, who played 12 years with St. Louis Blues before onto being the head coach for four separate NHL clubs — St. Louis, Boston, Calgary and Chicago. He has also coached the former Bentley Generals and is now with the Innisfail Eagles.

As for Glencross, who retired at the end of the 2014-15 season after nine years in the NHL, being able to play in this event is more about being with friends.

“Me and Gord are great friends and we support each other’s charity causes plus this seems to be one of the only times I am able to get out to be with the guys,” Glencross said, who works in sales in Calgary while also working for several local charities.

“And this is what I miss the most about being away from the game, being able to hang out in the team atmosphere so this is such a great thing to be a part of.”

Meanwhile, Colin Fraser — who played four seasons with the Red Deer Rebels before going onto an eight year NHL career and getting his name on the Stanley Cup twice — was impressed with the support this ‘fun beer league game’ got from the community.

“When I was asked if I wanted to play, I didn’t know it would turn into what happened here,” said Fraser.

“This was a really good skate and definitely fun to play. I love being a part of this and the crowd certainly made this more fun. I think Gord will have to maybe look at making this an annual thing.”

For Bamford’s part, due to the support shown by the community, he is certainly considering it.

Just to note, Bamford scored once in the second frame as his squad hung on to win by a goal while several boxes filled with food along with a number of cash donations were collected for the Ponoka Food Bank.

A final total raised was not immediately available.

charity hockeygord bamfordPonoka Food Bank

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Country music star Gord Bamford, left, has a huge smile as he stands with an NHL legend Duane Sutter - celebrity coach of Team Bamford - who spent 11 years in the NHL, which included winning four straight Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders.

Curtis Glencross, left, former NHLer and star with the Calgary Flames from 2008 to 2015, looks to take a feed as part of Team Halbert with Team Bamford’s Joe Vandermeer, who played in the minors and currently is with the Chinook League’s Innisfail Eagles, defending his net. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Just Posted

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Three young Sylvan Lake residents are asking for lights to be added to the walking trail system to make them safer and less scary at night. Photo by @workinonmyfitness72
Young Sylvan Lake residents ask for lights to be added to walking trails

Three young Sylvan Lake residents appeared before Council recently to present their ask

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Town of Sylvan Lake recieves funding to help with COVID-19 related revenue losses

Minister Devin Dreeshen says the funding will help the Town pay staff and provide services

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo by The Associated Press)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read