'Rock the Boat' fundraiser gives young hockey players a boost
Theo Pella’s son is in the midst of his first-ever season playing hockey.
Brody Somersgill, 6, is learning to skate, meeting new friends and refusing to remove from around his neck the medal his team won at a recent tournament.
Scored his first-ever goal the other day, too.
“He absolutely loves it,” Pella told Peace Arch News.
And Pella knows all those experiences wouldn’t be possible if not for the support of both KidSport BC and the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association.
Somersgill has Type 1 diabetes, which presents its own set of challenges – he wears an insulin pump under his jersey when he plays – but there are financial considerations, too.
Pella is a stay-at-home dad in order to act as Somersgill’s chief care-giver – after-school daycare centers willing to take on a child with Type 1 diabetes are hard to find, he said – and as a one-income family, hockey would normally be too expensive.
“Brody’s situation presents a lot of challenges. There are lots of highs, lots of lows,” Pella said.
“Hockey is such an expensive sport – registration, paying for ice time, buying new equipment almost every year because they grow so fast – it’s tough.
“If not for Semiahmoo Hockey, and for that help, he wouldn’t be able to play.”
Pella knows his family’s situation is not a rare one, either. KidSport and SMHA – and other Lower Mainland hockey associations, too – raise money every year to help cover registration costs, in whole or in part, so children can play sports.
And on Feb. 2, SMHA will host Rock The Boat – an event Pella, who is vice-chair of the fundraiser, called “the association’s major fundraiser for the year.”
Proceeds from the event are put towards keeping costs low for all players, while also helping out others like Brody, who currently plays in SMHA’s Hockey 4 division.
The dinner/dance will be held at the Pacific Inn (1160 King George Blvd.) with doors opening at 7 p.m.
In addition to dinner, drinks and dancing, Rock the Boat will also include a silent and live auction.
For more information on the Rock the Boat fundraiser, or to buy tickets, visit www.semihockey.ca and find the dinner/dance link under the “annual events” tab.