Appreciation Day, for billeting families
Bradford Rattlers Captain Josh Willenborg faces off with Bradford Bulls Captain Yuval Rosenthal on Sunday, February 1, 2015 - as Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Keffer prepares to drop the puck at the BWG Leisure Centre. The Mayor was joined by, from right, Councillors Peter Dykie Jr., Ron Orr, Gary Baynes, and Billet Committee member Tanya Smoke. MIRIAM KING/SUNMEDIA
It was an all-Bradford match-up at the Bradford West Gwillimbury Leisure Centre on February 1, when the GMHL Bradford Rattlers Jr. “A” team took on the GMHL Bradford Bulls. Both teams practice on Bradford ice, as part of Russell Hockey Enterprises.
It was also Appreciation Night, and a salute to the local families that have billet the Jr. A players from around the world, who come to Town to play in Russell Hockey Enterprises' developmental league.
In a salute to the families, Mayor Rob Keffer and Councillors Ron Orr, Gary Baynes and Peter Dykie Jr., participated in a ceremonial puck-drop at the start of the game.
It was an evening designed to “recognize a very important part of our organization – that is, our Billets, who open up their homes,” said Tanya Smoke, speaking to the many families in the audience. “This is a small way for the players to show some appreciation for everything you’ve done over the last year.”
Smoke, who has herself provided billeting for visiting players, is now on the Committee that encourages families to sign up and provide a home away from home for team members.
The hockey game itself was fast-paced and action-packed – and saw the Rattlers win, 4-0.