The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society, owners of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, have invited former National Hockey League greats Marcel Dionne and Gerry James and Olympic swimmer Scott Dickens to headline the first annual sports banquet and auction on Thursday, Feb. 28.
Dionne spent 18 years playing centre in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. He retired in 1989. James, known as “Kid Dynamite”, is the only athlete who can boast winning the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers then playing in the Stanley Cup Final with the Leafs in the same season (1959-60). Dickens is a two-time Summer Olympic swimmer and member of Team Canada. He most recently competed in the 2012 Summer Games in London, England.
Famed NHL player and commentator Howie Meeker will also make an appearance.
The PAJHS is holding the event to help fulfill its obligation to raise $300,000 in its first year. The society has raised $220,000 so far. The society owns and operates the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Jr. A hockey team that plays in the B.C. Hockey League.
Some of the sports auction items include an autographed Bobby Orr jersey, 2013 Vancouver Canucks’ signed jersey, signed sticks, hockey tickets and a Seattle Seahawks’ signed football. One item PAJHS fundraising chair Bob Cole expects to be popular is an opportunity to have a jersey signed by your favourite NHL player, regardless of who he plays for.
While Cole hopes the sports memorabilia generates a lot of interest at the auction, he points out there will be many other items including women’s jewelry, in-home, chef-prepared dinner parties, fishing trips, getaways at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet and possibly the Tigh-Na-Mara in Parksville as well.
Festivities kick off at 5:30 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Barclay, with dinner at 7 p.m. and auction at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $60 each ($480 for a table of eight) and available at the Bulldogs’ office, RBC Royal Bank, Best Western Barclay Hotel, Card Corner or the chamber of commerce. Anyone wishing to donate services, merchandise or ideas are asked to e-mail Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org.