The winning bidders were beaming as one by one, members of the Victoria Grizzlies peeled off their game-worn Wounded Warriors Canada jerseys and presented them to the fans.
The post-game ceremony, presided over by the B.C. Hockey League club’s president Lance Black on Jan. 27 at The Q Centre, was the culmination of a month-long awareness and fundraising campaign for the post-traumatic stress disorder support organization.
Some of the jerseys, including that of longtime Grizzly Cole Pickup, were bid up to $600 or more, with 50 per cent of the proceeds going to Wounded Warrior. In the end that wound up to be roughly $3,300, Black said.
“More important, I think we raised a lot of awareness for PTSD,” he said.
Some evidence of that came just before he left for the rink last Friday, when he received a phone call from someone with a friend in distress. The caller asked for the phone number of Allan Kobayashi, the Langford-based co-founder of the Wounded Warrior Run B.C.
That’s how easy it can be, Black said, “if one person gets helped by what we do, then it’s worth it.”
He recalled when Kobayashi, who suffers from PTSD himself, spoke to the players about his wartime experiences. “You’ve got these hockey players, all of them trying to get full ride scholarships, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room,” Black said.