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Firefighters host hockey fundraiser

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Tournament, sledge hockey demo, to raise money for the B.C. Burn Fund

WHAT: Hockey Tournament

WHERE: Meadow Park Arena

WHEN: Friday, June 13, through Sunday

This weekend Whistler Fire Services is hosting a three-day, six-team hockey tournament at Meadow Park arena to raise money for the B.C. Burn Fund and support Rick Hansen’s Wheels In Motion fundraiser for spinal cord injuries.

The round robin tournament will feature a pair of teams from fire departments in Vancouver, one fire department team from North Vancouver, Whistler Fire Services, the Whistler/Pemberton RCMP and the Mongolie Grillers.

The event is free for the public, with all proceeds from tournament fees, a barbecue and a beer garden going towards charity.

The games get underway this Friday at 5 p.m., and run from 9:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Saturday. From 2 to 3:45 p.m., the tournament will host a demonstration sledge hockey game.

Sledge hockey, also called wheelchair hockey, is a Paralympic sport where players sit on ice sledges and push themselves around the ice using spikes mounted on the butt ends of small hockey sticks.

A team of sledge players is coming up to Whistler to face a group of players from the hockey tournament, who will be trying the sledges for the first time.

The demonstration is being held as part of the Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion events in Meadow Park, a separate fundraiser for spinal cord research and community accessibility programs.

The finals for the hockey tournament will be held on Sunday, with the third- and fourth-ranked teams battling it out for the bronze medal at 9:30 a.m., and the top teams facing off at 11 a.m.

"It’s the first year we’re holding the event, so we want to keep it as simple as possible," said Dave Evans, the event organizer and a career firefighter with Whistler Fire Services. "We’re hoping to make it an annual event in the future, grow it a little, and raise some money for B.C. Burn Fund."

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