The puck will drop on a very special hockey game this Sunday (Oct. 29) at the Antigonish Arena.
The Inspector Tony Perry Memorial Hockey Game will go from 2 to 4 p.m. and will feature a fun contest between RCMP members and first responders with all proceeds going to Helping the Helpers.
Inspector Tony Perry, a long-time RCMP officer who spent a number of years in Antigonish, including time as Staff Sargent at the local detachment, passed away in October 2016.
The memorial game is the brainchild of his daughter Melanie Marchand who noted, soon after her father’s passing, wanting, “to do something to commemorate dad’s legacy in the community of Antigonish and hockey just seemed like a natural fit.”
Marchand said her father had a real love for the game which he played, as a goaltender, while growing up in Deer Lake, Newfoundland.
“He was an avid sports fan, always went to the St. F.X. hockey games and was always a bigger supporter of hockey,” she said, adding he followed the Toronto Maple Leafs as his NHL team of choice.
RCMP officers from around the province, as well as Newfoundland, who worked with Insp. Perry, will be suiting up for the game, and against first responders which include paramedics, social workers and firefighters, to name just a few.
“Dad was always very good to help out his peers,” Marchand said, when talking about Helping the Helpers as the organization receiving support from the event.
Admission to the game is by donation and, along with the entertainment on the ice, there will be a silent auction, a 50-50 draw, emergency vehicles to be checked out and mascots from different organizations, such as Sparky and Smokey the Bear, ready to greet youngsters and the young-at-heart.
“We’re gearing it towards being a family fun event,” Marchand said, adding Shaun Smith, well known for adding to Eastern Nova Scotia Exhibition activities with his enthusiastic announcing style, will be commenting during the game.
Marchand said a committee came together to organize the game and it has received tremendous contributions from the local business community.
“And just people reaching out to us, wanting to support dad,” she said.
She noted her family, despite a few different addresses, always considered Antigonish “home” and that, while in the community, her father was pleased to be able to lend his support and become involved in a number of different organizations, such as the Antigonish chapter for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) and the Naomi Society.
As well, it while serving in the role of Antigonish RCMP community policing offer, he organized a number of different activities to educate children about safety in a fun way, such as the ongoing bike rodeo, as well as events which gave back to the community, like Christmas Daddies.