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  • Vermilion Voice

Vermilion-Vegreville Pole Kats Special Olympics Fundraiser

Back row from left, Goodwill Industries of Alberta President and CEO Dale Monaghan, Justin Wolgien, and David Rein.

Middle row from left, coaches Vivian Wolgien, and Fran Serna. Front row from left, D’Arcy Martin, Dwayne Gorda, and Vermilion Chrysler General Manager Adam McIntyre. Photos Angela Mouly

Goodwill Industries of Alberta and Vermilion Chrysler hosted a fundraiser in Vermilion for the Vermilion-Vegreville Pole Kats from November 27 – December 2. Adam McIntyre, Vermilion Chrysler General Manager, presented the team a $1,000 cheque; and Dale Monaghan, Goodwill Industries of Alberta President and CEO presented the team a $1,000 cheque. “The athletes are absolutely beside themselves. A lot of these children don’t have much; for a lot of them, the team is all they’ve got for family. Thank you hardly seems enough for what you have done for these players. It’s amazing that Dale and Adam approached us and put it all together; it’s amazing to receive this kind of support for our athletes. Thank you to everyone who came in and made donations to enter the draw, and who put their names on silent auction items. The funds will go towards team coats for the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics Alberta, and transportation fees,” said coach Vivian Wolgien.

“You are welcome; we are happy to help. Train hard; Olympian, Cheryl Bernard, is looking forward to seeing you in Calgary,” said Dale Monaghan. “I am thankful that hosting events like this is a great way to be part of and interact with my community. I feel blessed to have have made these connections over the years in business with it being a success, I hope we can continue this partnership for many years helping with local teams and Goodwill. I played hockey for many years and at a young age realized just how much all sports can cost a family in time and money. Matching equipment is not a necessity, however the Pole Kats play as a team and deserve to look like one!” said Adam McIntyre. The 2019 Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games will take place in Calgary from February 8 – 10. The team presented Adam McIntyre and Dale Monaghan signed jerseys making them honorary Pole Kats. Volunteers came from Vegreville on December 1, to represent the team as they were competing in another tournament in Edmonton. Players returned still glowing to have had the opportunity to meet Joey Moss at the Special Olympics Joey Moss Floor Hockey Invitational. Their main focus is Calgary, and the team won silver four years ago, but for many players it will be their first time. They will also be competing at a higher competitive level this year. “I’m really excited to go to the Winter Games. We are going one step at a time, but we are going to try and go for gold this year!” said player D’Arcy Martin from Vegreville. David Rein from Vermilion who has been a goalie with the team for the past couple years said that he loves the atmosphere, and how everyone is like a big family with really good sportsmanship, as well as that it keeps him active. Captain, Justin Wolgien, from Vermilion added that if they win in Calgary, they will make it to nationals. Their smiles, excitement, positive attitude, and welcoming spirit were infectious. Coach, Fran Serna, from Vegreville said she began coaching floor hockey six or seven years ago as way to keep the children active. “Our team has catered to different needs. Some individuals have hardly moved, but during practice have been able to run around, and have somewhere to be besides the box or at home watching sports. The Vermilion group have added to our team, inspiring others; we would be at a loss without them,” said Serna. Overall the event raised over $2,500 for the Pole Kats to support training and travel costs to compete in the 50th Anniversary Special Olympics. The team is looking forward to continue practicing specifically for the winter games beginning December 4.

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