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Eagles help raise $6,800 for Alexa's Bus

Nico Docolas (left) and Laurel Middelaer (centre) put a purple bracelet – in honour of Laurel’s daughter, Alexa, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008 – on the wrist of Cayla Smith during the Surrey Eagles game Sunday at South Surrey Arena. - Doug Shanks photo
Nico Docolas (left) and Laurel Middelaer (centre) put a purple bracelet – in honour of Laurel’s daughter, Alexa, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008 – on the wrist of Cayla Smith during the Surrey Eagles game Sunday at South Surrey Arena.
— image credit: Doug Shanks photo

Sunday’s BC Hockey League game between the Surrey Eagles and Langley Chiefs was more than just a battle for second place in the standings – it was an opportunity to raise money for the Alexa’s Bus initiative, which aims to help police keep drunk drivers off the roads.

Through a raffle, 50/50, game tickets and the sale of purple bracelets, $3,800 was raised at South Surrey Arena Sunday.

Local Scotiabank branches donated $3,000 too, bring the total raised to $6,800.

The Alexa’s Bus program is in honour of Alexa Middelaer, the four-year-old girl who, in 2008, was struck by a drunk driver and killed while feeding a horse at the side of a Ladner road.

Carol Berner was convicted last summer of two counts of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm, and two counts of impaired driving causing death in connection with the tragedy. Sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail, Berner is appealing the decision, and currently living in Delta after being granted bail last November.

The funds raised Jan. 23 will help purchase four mobile investigation units, which will aid police in impaired-driving investigations.

“If we can obtain these buses, our police will be fully equipped to investigate the complex accident scenes in which alcohol has been a factor,” said Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother and a principal at Southridge School in South Surrey.

“As a result, the cost of pursuing charges against drunk drivers will be greatly reduced, and – most importantly – many, many lives will be saved.”

In addition to the purple bracelets – purple was Alexa’s favourite colour – worn by many of the 1,200 spectators in attendance Sunday, Surrey Eagles players also used purple stick tape in the game.

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