Niagara IceDogs giving FACS the Superhero treatment

Caped crusaders will be taking to the ice at the Meridian Centre on Oct. 19 when the Niagara IceDogs take on the Windsor Spitfires.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Ontario and to help raise awareness, the IceDogs will be donning special superhero themed jerseys on Oct. 19. Following the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to Family and Children’s Services Niagara (FACS)’s foundation.

“We’ve always had a great partnership with (FACS), they’ve always come out and we support them in bringing a big group out to games,” said Niagara IceDogs owner Bill Burke. “We do four special sweaters a year and we thought that FACS deserved to have their night. We pay for all of the sweaters and socks and everything, then they are auctioned off and (FACS will) get 100 per cent of the money.”

The special jerseys, designed in house by Jamie Burke, are red with rippling abs shown on the front and feature a yellow and black stylized N for Niagara. The back of the jersey resembles a black cape. On the sleeves, the IceDogs mascot, Bones, appears with a mask and cape.

“I was never a superhero guy, I was never into comics or any of that stuff,” said Bill, adding he left it to Jamie to design it on her own. “She’s brilliant at it … It’s got that Batman or Superman look with the cape on the back. The kids are going to love it.”

The minimum bid for each jersey is $250 and season ticket holder, Luke Pasmore of Luke’s Auctions, donates his time to auction off the jerseys after the game.

“Depending on the player, the bidding can get quite high, especially when it’s unique and we’ve never had a sweater like this before,” said Bill.

FACS executive director, Anna Bozza, said they’ve had a long relationship with the Niagara IceDogs, who typically host a FACS night each October.

“In the past, we’ve come for the Halloween game and we have foster parents and community members come out. (The IceDogs) support it entirely,” she said. “The kids come dressed up in their costumes and they go out on the ice in their costumes.”

Being included as part of superhero night this year is fitting, said Bozza, because FACS has many superheroes who help them out on a regular basis.

“We’ll have some of our superheroes with us that night, the foster parents, volunteers, volunteer drivers and staff,” she said. “It’s a real honour to say thanks to the community. It takes a community to make it safe for kids.”

While Bill said the night offers the foster children a night out that takes them away from the struggles they might be facing day to day, Bozza said the profile FACS get from the night helps to highlight the need for support from the community, in regards to ensuring safety and well-being.

“We could not do our work and keep our community safe without the superheroes, those entail community members, foster parents, volunteers and staff. It really just raises a ton of awareness,” she said.

The Oct. 19 game takes place at the Meridian Centre and the puck drops at 7 p.m. The auction will take place following the game in section 105. All game-worn jerseys will be washed and signed before being delivered to the buyer.

Source: Niagara This Week