Play the Pros volunteer Craig Clarke holds up some items that will be auctioned off at the event to help support local youth in need of financial assistance to play. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
It has been 12 years since Jon Sim won the Stanley Cup; eight since White won his second.
Sadly many of New Glasgow's youth don't remember either of those championships. Some weren't even born.
But for those who were watching last year as the Boston Bruins battled with the Vancouver Canucks into Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Championship, they will be getting a rare opportunity this weekend as Brad Marchand, who scored two goals in the final game to help Boston win, joins participants at this year's Play the Pros event.
"It's really neat to be able to watch on T.V. and see the guy hoist the Stanley Cup and then meet that guy in person," said Craig Clarke who is helping to organize the event.
The 5th annual hockey day in Pictou County presented by the Play the Pros Society will be held on Saturday at the John Brother Macdonald Stadium.
As in past years, the event will include two hockey games, one in the afternoon starting at 1 p.m. for children 10 and under and a gentlemen's style hockey game at 7 p.m.
There is no cost to watch the children's game but the evening game will have an admission fee of $5 per adult (children are free).
More than six current or former pro players have signed up to date including Marchand.
"It's big of him because he's had a very busy summer," said Clarke. "When you win that Stanley Cup summer's short. He just finished playing six weeks ago and he's going to have to be back at it shortly. So for him to carve the day out and to come up here and help us raise money, that's been big."
He will be joined by White and Sim, as well as Pictou's Joey Macdonald (Detroit Red Wings), Dave McIntyre and Andrew Macdonald (New York Islanders) and others.
As in the past, interest has been great this year, Clarke said.
"We are pretty much oversold on the kids' game. I have a waiting list for the kids' game," he said.
The men's game for the evening is also filled up.
They also have some auction items coming in that will be highly prized including four tickets to the Montreal Canadien's pre season game which are being donated by the team's captain Brian Gionta. The winner will also have a chance to see Gionta or another star after the game.
Brenden Morrow is also donating tickets and an opportunity to meet him in person at an upcoming intrasquad game for the Stars in P.E.I.
Other items expected to draw attention are a signed picture of Marchand hoisting the Stanley Cup, a signed jersey from Sidney Crosby and two San Jose Sharks with White's number on them.
"That might be something that will kind of peak people's interest," says Clarke. "It's the first time he's skated on the ice without a New Jersey sweater on."
In keeping with the founding purpose of the event, all of the funds raised will be used to ensure that young Pictou County children have the opportunity to play hockey. The goal of Play the Pros is to make sure that all children that want to play hockey can despite their family financial situation. This year the Society will also be assisting the local chapter of the Children's Wish Foundation plus the Aberdeen Health Foundation-Oncology-Client Services.
The charity event has already benefited hundreds of youth in the county who needed a little help with either purchasing equipment or paying registration fees.
To see those kids on the ice and know that the volunteer work that dozens of people have put in is paying off is rewarding for Clarke and the other organizers.
"Some of them are doing well. They're really starting to progress and they're becoming a part of our county system."