Assiniboine leads the charge

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:34 AM ET

They kept shooting and they kept scoring.

Every December, Chris Cottick's 'Too Late for Prime Time Players' at the River Heights Community Club kick in cheques and coins for the Christmas Cheer Board in memory of our former teammate, Clarence Thio, who succumbed to cancer seven years ago.

Tony Krawat made like Sidney Crosby when the good dentist scored a big winner with a $100 donation but all of my friends at Friday hockey were most generous as they collected in a total of $327.16.

And many of them did not even know Clarence, a nice guy who played defence and loved the game so much he never wanted to leave the ice.

And once again Laraine Thio added another $100 in her late husband's memory.

"It's hard to believe it's been seven years since Clarence died," she wrote. "All the best to all of you this holiday season."

Geoff Thio, Clarence's son, also sent another $100 cheque from Calgary, which ups our grand total to $527.16, one of the best any group of shinny players has ever donated.

Thanks to all of you and hope you had a wonderful Christmas. May the next few months be full of more goals than I can get.

CURLING COIN: We got two new curling clubs on board this season and they have been most welcome. First my new club, the Deer Lodge, agreed to support a month-long 50/50 raffle and the end result was another $241 raised for the Cheer Board's needy kids.

The winner of the raffle was Ken Stenson, a.k.a. 'The Cockroach.' And yes, he is my teammate and no, I did not pick the winner. And yes, we know he will take care of the rest of my team at the MCA Bonspiel. But thanks to all of you who slipped your loonies into the raffle box.

Special thanks to bar manager, Jody Smart, for making the suggestion and helping out and to Brent Mackie for organizing the raffle. I know you all had better Christmases because of it.

IRON ROCK: The other new club to get on board was the Granite, thanks to icemaker Tony Loran. The Iron Rock Challenge added $70.25. But, because only Jeff Stoughton and friends and few others were up to the challenge, Tony plans to offer it next year with cheaper rates per throw.

And yes, I did lose a challenge to CFRW's Resby Coutts by the length of the tiny rock. Thanks to all who helped out and the best of the season to everyone.

BEST CHALLENGE: Assiniboine Memorial checked in with the biggest donation of any club in the city, thanks to its annual Christmas Cheer Challenge. The AMCC men's leagues raised a grand total of $422. Add another $41 from the Ross Forbes CFB Challenge -- which has now raised $241 -- and Debbie Cloutier kicked in with another $20 with her Drivers Challenge through the club -- and where are those drivers anyway?

Special thanks to my good friend, Darlyne Fathers, the club manager who still got the Challenge going despite the fact my team is no longer there. Thanks to all of you for your generosity and I hope you all have a great curling season. See you on the ice.

MAILING: Please send whatever you can spare to The Sun's Empty Stocking Fund, 1700 Church Ave., Wpg., Man. R2X 3A2. Receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.

TODAY'S GOOD PEOPLE:

Chris Cottick's 'Too Late for Prime Time Players' ... $327.16

"In Memory of Clarence Thio" ... $200

Assiniboine Memorial Christmas Cheer Challenge ... $422

Blair Chudd CFB C.C. Challenge ... $21

Ross Forbes CFB C.C. Challenge ... $20

Debbie Cloutier Drivers Challenge ... $20

Deer Lodge C.C. Cheer Board 50-50 Raffle ... $241

Granite C.C. Iron Rock Challenge ... $70.25

Today's Total ... $1,321.41

Total to Date ... $46,908.41


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