The Trail Smoke Eaters have thrown down the challenge to the Trail RCMP and Firefighters to have fun and raise funds in a charity softball game at Butler Park on Wednesday

Charity softball game kicks off hockey season

Trail Smoke Eaters team up with RCMP and Firefighters

The Trail Smoke Eaters will swing into their season in a fun if not unlikely fashion as they get set to take on the Greater Trail RCMP and Firefighters on Sept. 3, however, the game won’t be on Cominco ice but on the Butler ball diamond.

Following the Smoke Eaters camp this weekend, the team will host a Charity Softball Game at Butler Park against Trail’s finest with the proceeds of the game going to the newly organized Smoke Eater Booster Club, the Special Olympics and the KBRH Foundation critical care campaign, the chosen charities of the RCMP and Trail Firefighters.

“I’ve seen it at the professional level and it’s usually a pretty fun event,” said Smokies coach and GM Nick Deschenes. “You raise money for a good cause and it helps people identify with their players a little bit more. There are really so many positives to it . . . and we’re hoping it will become an annual event.”

The Smoke Eater Booster Club was resurrected earlier this summer with the specific purpose of helping the players with nutrition and fitness, and the softball game is one of it’s first fundraising initiatives.

“The reality is, is that there are some things that our players financially, with our team being a city-owned team, we just don’t have endless supplies of money,” said club member Scott Calvin.

“We wanted to find a way that we could raise some money to get the players some things that the team otherwise wouldn’t be able to get for them – work-out gear and pre- and post-game nutrition. Our whole purpose this year is to ‘Fuel the Smokies’,”

The booster club is a separate entity from the team, but both work cooperatively towards the same goal – of improving the players and increasing their role in the community.

“We are the most senior hockey outfit in town, and if we do the right job in developing young men and being active community members, it’s going to trickle down and it’s going to benefit from top to bottom,” said Deschenes. “So I think if people see the value in that, it will help not only the Smoke Eaters but a lot of community involvement and support.”

The Smoke Eaters executive also pitched in, donating tickets so that all kids who attend the charity softball game will receive free admission to the Smokies’ “Home Opener” versus the Penticton Vees Sept. 26. In addition, all adults that make a $20 donation at the game will also receive a free ticket to the home opener against the Vees.

“The Smoke Eaters are donating all the tickets to us, and that’s a huge thing,” said Calvin. “We’re really hopeful we get lots of people out. Tom (Gawryletz) and the executive work tirelessly, and there’s only four of them. If it wasn’t for them there would be no team here.”

The Firefighters and RCMP will field a team of 16 players to compete against a full Smokies squad, and while it has been a while since the participants have actually took a swing at a softball, they are more than ready to bring it on.

“I don’t even know what the rules are going to be . . . but we’re always game for something,” quipped RCMP constable Kerry Szkica.

The softball game is a good opportunity for residents to meet the Smoke Eaters as well as the RCMP and Firefighters who serve and protect our community.

The players will be greeting fans at the gate, interacting with the crowd, and selling 50-50 tickets throughout the game. There will also be an area for kids to play whiffle ball with the players, and full food service at the concession

“We want them to be very involved in this,” said Calvin. “This is going to be kids on the field and everybody that’s not on the field is going to be doing something interactive with the people that are there.”

To take that further,  the Smoke Eaters also plan to enhance their profile within the community and work closer with the City of Trail.

“We’re looking to make our players available for really anything in the community, whether it’s moving furniture or shovelling snow,” said Deschenes.

“We just want to be out there and give back to the people that I think make all this possible.”

Game time is 5:30 p.m. at Butler Park on Wednesday, admission by donation. To volunteer or join the booster club call Bob Davidson or contact the Trail Smoke Eaters.

See Thursday’s Trail Times for more on the Smoke Eater’s fall camp.

Just Posted

BC senior championship: Tie breakers to decide men’s, Richter goes undefeated in women’s

Marilou’s Richter’s Penticton/Kamloops team cruises to final with perfect record.

Maglio Building Centre sold to RONA

The stores in Nelson and Trail will remain open

Firefighters extinguish early-morning blaze in Rossland

Neighbour alerted family of four, no injuries reported

Nominations open for Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year

Award presented annually for a person or group with an outstanding record of community service

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Sledder dies near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue was tasked by the RCMP to respond to a sledder in medical distress

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read