Food donations were presented to the Pembroke St. Joseph’s Food Bank and the Petawawa Pantry on behalf of tournament players and other members of the Normandy Officers’ Mess (NOM) during the NOM Annual Charity Hockey Tournament. (Left to right) Captain Stephen Keeble, CSOR organizer; CWO Cote; LCol Vivian; Col Lapointe; CWO Verner; and John Kilborn, Kandace Crosby and Rick White representing the St Joseph’s Food Bank in Pembroke and the Petawawa Pantry. (Image by CSOR Imagery Technician)
The first game of the tournament was played between members of 2 Service Battalion and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) Ultimately, the CANSOFCOM won first place. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Participating in the ceremonial puck drop April 6 were (above left to right) Team Captain Lieutenant Colonel (LCol) Kieran Kennedy, Commanding Officer (CO) 2 Service Battalion; Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Tom Verner and Colonel Louis Lapointe, Command Team 4th Canadian Division Support Group; LCol Andrew Vivian and CWO Mario Cote, Command Team Canadian Special Operations Regiment; and Captain Mike Richard, CSOR Team Captain. (Image by CSOR Imagery Technician)
2018 NOM Hockey Tournament helps stock food banks’ shelves
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday April 12, 2018
Despite being fewer in numbers, this year’s Normandy Officers’ Mess (NOM) Charity Hockey Tournament, participants still managed to collect about 850 pounds of food for local food banks.
The Petawawa Pantry and the St. Joseph’s Food Bank in Pembroke split the generous donation, which will go to help over 1,200 families registered in the region. Though the number of people served fluctuates according to need, about 250 people visit the Pembroke food bank and over 300 use the Petawawa Pantry every month.
“It’s a great opportunity for us, especially around this time,” John Kilborn, Vice President of the St. Joseph’s Food Bank. “Our shelves are really low right now.”
People tend to be generous around the holidays but forget that the need is still there year round, he noted. Since food banks operate strictly through donations and without any governmental funding, events such as the hockey tournament are essential. “Every week, we get new clients in,” said Yvon Serre, Vice President of the Petawawa Pantry.
Both organizations were very grateful to be chosen.
The charity hockey tournament is an annual tradition. Teams provide non-perishable food items in lieu of a monetary entry fee. Typically, a different unit takes charge of the event and this year, the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) officially organized it.
Four teams signed up, contributing at least 50 pounds each. “There were some challenges getting people to participate because we are very busy with operational tours and exercises and training,” said organizer Captain Stephen Keeble. “But we still had a pretty good turn out.”
Going above and beyond the 50 pounds was encouraged. “This tournament is an excellent example of that sportsmanship and camaraderie and that sense of compassion our members have,” said CSOR Public Affairs Officer Captain Sally-Ann Cyr.
Picking the charities of choice wasn’t a difficult decision. Not only do local residents use the food banks; CAF personnel also often see firsthand the devastation of food insecurity when deployed or on exercise overseas.
“We often see the effects of people who don’t have enough to eat,” said Capt Cyr. “So when you come back to Canada and you find out that there are people within your own community who don’t have enough to eat, it definitely touches you.”
At the conclusion of the tournament, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) team took home first place.