Sheldon Cleaves, president of the ALS Society of BC’s North Central Island Chapter receives the award of distinction on behalf of the Cowichan Valley Ol’ Hustlers. (Steph Schumann photo)

Sheldon Cleaves, president of the ALS Society of BC’s North Central Island Chapter receives the award of distinction on behalf of the Cowichan Valley Ol’ Hustlers. (Steph Schumann photo)

Hockey’s Ol’ Hustlers honoured for ALS fundraising efforts

Team has worked at ALS awareness for 10 years

The Cowichan Valley Ol’ Hustlers hockey team was honoured earlier this month with an award of distinction from the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of BC.

The team received the recognition at the ALS Society’s annual volunteer awards ceremony in Richmond after 10 years of promoting ALS awareness and fundraising. The team has raised more than $35,000 for the society’s North Central Island chapter in that time.

More than 60 old-timer hockey players took part in the 15th annual Cowichan Valley Ol’ Hustlers Mini Tournament last November. For the last 10 years, the tournament has raised money for the ALS Society of BC.

“The tournament is held in memory of two of our former goalies, Joe Dougherty and Rick Wilkinson, who both passed away from ALS,“ Ol’ Hustlers co-founder Jim Dias explained. “The success of this event comes because they were both well known in the community. We get to tell stories about how they contributed to the association, as well as show respect for their families. Everyone who attends enjoys the concept and supports the cause.”

Society executive director Wendy Toyer voiced her gratitude for the club’s years of hard work.

“The effort of this hockey club is extraordinary,”she said. “For 10 consecutive years, this group of hockey players has made the effort to raise awareness and funds for ALS in support of the North Central Island Chapter of the ALS Society of BC. Funds donated are invested to improve the quality of life of people living with ALS in their community.