Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society play a game against ILWU 502 during Toque Tuesday at Civic Plaza Feb. 4, 2020. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Homelessness

Snowy day makes for ‘perfect’ Toque Tuesday in Surrey

Organizer says weather ‘drives home the message’ of needing to help those in poverty

Despite the snowy and cold conditions Tuesday (Feb. 4), Tim Baillie says it was the “perfect day” for Toque Tuesday Hockey Day at Surrey’s Civic Plaza.

It was the ninth annual event aimed at drawing awareness to the problem of homelessness in the city. The event also collects winter clothing – from participants and spectators – for those in need, as part of a national campaign initiated by the charity organization Raising The Roof.

READ ALSO: ‘Toque Tuesday’ ball hockey games played to help Surrey’s homeless, Jan. 28, 2020

“This, believe it or not, is a perfect day. You couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m 65 years old and I know people on the street from doing stuff, especially with Lookout over the years, that are the same age as me,” said Baillie, who is also known as the “Supreme Commander” of Toque Tuesday in Surrey.

“I go home, I go to a warm house, I get in my hot tub, all my aching bones feel a lot better. These poor guys go and they’re roughing it. They’re trying to hide in the doorway or they’re going to a shelter. This weather, actually, is perfect because it drives home the message that we need to help people in poverty right now.”

Even with the snow, Baillie said there was still a “great” response for the event, with plenty of item donated, including women’s hygiene products.

The Surrey Eagles junior hockey team is involved in Toque Tuesday again, and will host its annual Sock and Underwear Toss during a game at South Surrey Arena on Friday, Feb. 7. That evening, spectators are encouraged to bring new socks, toques and underwear to toss on the ice when the home team scores against the visiting Wenatchee Wild.

And, even though it’s still another year away, Baillie said he would be starting on the plans for the 10th annual event.

“Tomorrow, I start on next year,” Baillie said Tuesday, adding that he will be “ramping it up a lot.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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