Jerseys up for grabs at fundraiser

Autographed NHL jerseys from some big names will be among the items up for grabs as the Cowichan Valley hockey community comes together on Monday to raise money for a Shawnigan Lake family that lost their home and all its contents – including a full set of goalie gear – in a fire last month.

"Several families have come together who are connected with hockey as a result of their oldest son playing hockey in the Cowichan Valley," explained Rick Brant, one of the organizers of the fundraiser.

Tickets for the Monday fundraiser at the Duncan White Spot are $20, which gets a burger and beverage. One hundred tickets are available, and everyone is welcome, whether they are connected to minor hockey or not.

"The hockey community is involved and behind this, but we welcome everyone to take part," Brant said.

The auction will feature signed jerseys from Vancouver Island’s own 2014/15 NHL scoring champ Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators. Brett Hopwo, who has coached the eldest son of the family, used his hockey connections to convince their teams to donate the sweaters.

Supporters don’t have to be in attendance to bid on the items.

"As part of our efforts to raise money, we understand that not everyone will be able to attend," Brant said. "We want them to try to attend, but if they can’t, they can bid on those jerseys without being at dinner."

Hopwo isn’t the only member of the hockey community stepping up. Chad Gurski and Valley Carpet One, and Marty Goliath of White Spot are also providing support.

For more information about tickets or the auction, contact Brett Hopwo at or 250-715-5201.