On February 19, an event was held at the Kenora Recreation Centre called
the Lakewood Credit Union Shoot for a Cure Shootout.  Hockey players of
ages 7 and 8 from Lake of the Wood Minor Hockey had a chance to
participate by raising money for "Shoot for a Cure", an organization
linked to Hockey Canada that promotes awareness of spinal cord injuries.
The kids raised $4500 in total this year for SFAC.

Over the course of 2 hours that day, 57 kids rotated through various fun
stations as teams. One of the stations featured Arnie Schryvers, who has
been in a wheelchair since the age of 17 and has been promoting public
awareness of spinal cord injuries for the past 28 years.  Arnie was able
to spend time with every team talking about his condition, and left the
kids with some new impressions about taking responsibility for their own
safety, how they play the game of hockey, etc. The feedback from the
parents who sat in on his session was that those few minutes spent with
Arnie will stay with their kids forever.  Ironically, Arnie's disability
almost prevented him from having access to the kids at all that day, as
the event organizers couldn't figure out a way to get him into the
dressing rooms -  The wheelchair itself weighed >250lbs and the only
access was over stairs.  They were running out of time and were prepared
to settle for just having Arnie present at the pizza lunch afterwards.

Fortunately for Arnie and the players, Dave Ouimet of Forestlands was a
volunteer that day.  Dave is a level 5 referee and was scheduled to talk
to the kids about the role of referees in the game, keeping players
safe, safety near the boards, etc.  Upon hearing about Arnie's
predicament, Dave took it upon himself to solve the problem.  He first
contacted the Kenora Recreation Centre to gain access to another room
that not usually used as a dressing room but that Arnie would be able to
access easily in his wheelchair.  The next hurdle was how to get the
hockey teams to and from that room every 12 minutes across a concrete
floor.  Dave called the Triple Play organization and asked them if they
had enough skate guards to help him out, they did, and Dave gathered
them up.  With the help of some more volunteers removing and installing
skate blades on the players that day, Arnie was able to make his
presentation to every team, all because of some valuable initiative and
dedication by Dave Ouimet. So next time your at the rink and are about
to yell at Dave for throwing one of our players in the box, think for a
second about this article, and then go ahead and yell at him anyway,
he's used to it.  Way to go Dave!

Pictured is Dave Ouimet talking with Arnie at the players lunch after
the event.


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