On Christmas day, a group of kids will be playing snakes and ladders, drawing with crayons and shooting pucks with miniature hockey sticks thanks to the Fernie Ghostriders.
The local Junior B hockey team is far from gentle on the ice but when it comes to kids and Christmas, it turns out they’re big softies.
The players went Christmas shopping for the community’s less fortunate and donated seven big bags of toys to the Fernie Salvation Army’s Christmas initiatives.
“I feel good about it,” said defenceman Kyle Haugo as he and 11 other Riders dropped by the Salvation Army on Dec. 14 to deliver the gifts.
Head coach Craig Mohr said the team divided up the philanthropy by grabbing tags off the Angel Tree from the Light up the Night event in early December. The tags indicated the age and gender of the child they’d be shopping for. They split themselves into seven groups of three and went shopping.
“We were talking and instead of doing a Christmas gift for the team, the players got together and decided to give something back to the community,” said Mohr. “These guys were all gung ho for it. I’m proud of them. I think it’s a wonderful idea.”
Mohr said some of his players drove all the way to Cranbook to collect gifts.
“You can tell they all had fun going out and trying to figure out what to get,” he said.
“They’re pretty motivated.”
The Fernie Salvation Army’s Major Edith Dean said the gifts would be included in their Christmas hampers. Approximately 60 local families have applied for hampers this year and Dean said she expects that number to grow.
“I just want to say thank you to them (the Ghostriders) for their support so we can help the children,” she said. “All the gifts are very much appreciated.”