CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks are proving it’s more than just a game.
Of course, in more ways than one.
The Roughnecks – through the Calgary Roughnecks Foundation – will support Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Fort McMurray with a number of initiatives during tonight’s West Division Final opener against the Saskatchewan Rush.
Following last week’s pledge of $100,000 from the Calgary Flames Foundation, the Roughnecks will direct $4 from every West Division Final ticket purchased.
RE/MAX 50-50 proceeds collected during tonight’s tilt will also go toward recovery efforts.
Simply put, it’s lacrosse for a great cause.
“It’s great to be able to help… we’re all Albertans,” said Roughnecks GM Mike Board. “It was only a few years ago that we had to deal with a flood, and all Alberta was helping us get through that.
“Every little bit is going to count. It’s going to take a long time to rebuild Fort Mac and they’re going to need a lot. If we can play even a small part in helping than we’re more than happy to do it.”
The Roughnecks have also offered their friends from the north free admission to the highly anticipated matchup. Each complimentary ticket will include a concession voucher.
It’s the least the Riggers can do, according to Board.
“Inviting all the evacuees to the game can hopefully take some stress off their minds,” he said. “To give them free tickets so they have a chance to relax for a couple hours is the right thing to do.
“The players asked me shortly after our win in Colorado if there was anything we could do to help, and as the GM of this organization I couldn’t have been more proud.”
The Red Cross – the largest disaster relief organization in the world – will be accepting monetary donations and distributing information on the concourse behind section 227. A $5 contribution can also be made by texting REDCROSS to 30333.
In addition, Roughneck players, coaches and training staff will don an Alberta Strong decal in honour of those affected.
“I’m really excited to wear the decal on my helmet for Alberta,” said veteran Roughnecks defenceman Mike Carnegie. “I’m very proud that the organization wants to do that and that they’re willing to do that. It’s great.”
Fans attending tonight’s game are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Calgary Food Bank to support Fort McMurray-area evacuees. Calgary Food Bank donations will be accepted on the west tarmac from 6 to 8 p.m.
“To see the organization that you play for step up and do something for an event that touched a lot of people, it’s an amazing thing,” said Roughnecks defenceman Tyler Burton. “I’m proud to call myself a Roughneck because of what they do, not just on the floor but off the floor.
“It’s not just about winning lacrosse games; it’s about who we are as people, too.”