Sports ‘n’ Things: Help Smokies help families

"Good thing it is a season of hope, at least for sports fans."

Fires, floods, refugees, the B.C. Lions – so much negative information around these days.

Good thing it is a season of hope, at least for sports fans. The Blue Jays (I know, Toronto, but still) have been providing excitement and inciting hope in their fans, and fans of baseball in general, by  competent – a bit strange under this manager – and often inspiring play.

Much closer to home but also providing hope are local junior hockey clubs. The Smoke Eaters and Nitehawks will both begin serious play – in a tie for top spot in their respective leagues – next Friday.

In the meantime, very low prices and support for good causes are all in the pre-season mix at local arenas.

The Smoke Eaters will conclude their pre-season slate with back-to-back, home-and-home tilts against the Selkirk Saints, beginning tonight in Castlegar, this weekend.

Be nice if they got a big crowd in Cominco Arena Saturday, especially because the bigger the 50-50 pot the bigger the donation (Smokies will match their portion of the take) to the Gord Steep Fund in aid of sick children and their families.

You can always do a direct donation, but it can be more fun with a prize at the end. To be eligible for the prize, you must be in attendance, so why not go?

The Nitehawks are in the midst of an eight games in nine days pre-season test, coming right on the heels of a grueling training camp, that leads into their regular season start on Friday. The last three games of that set will be in the Hawks’ Nest Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.

Much as I am supportive of the Nitehawks, I hope fans chose to get their hockey fix Saturday night at Cominco Arena in support of the charity drive.

Otherwise, of course, get out to as many games in local rinks as you can. The games still provide relatively inexpensive, high quality entertainment and the volunteers who mostly run the organizations involved need and appreciate all the support they can attract.