Whaler captain Chris Fortems (left) and Flames captain Jordan Kujala take a ceremonial face-off from the City of White Rock firefighters and Whalers president Ronnie Paterson. The Whalers helped raise $438 for the Holiday Boot Drive, a Christmas charity effort by the firefighters.
Pod assist firefighters for charity
CENTENNIAL ARENA – Even miserly Ebenezer Scrooge would have smiled at the irony. On the ice, Whaler defenceman Charlie Derrheim scored in the seventh round of a tense shootout to extinguish the Ridge Meadows Flames 4-3.
And who was behind the glass on Dec. 3? Actual hometown heroes who combat genuine flames – the City of White Rock firefighters in their trucks and flashing lights!
The Dec. 3 game marked the first time the Whalers have teamed up with the White Rock Firefighters Charity Association for their annual Holiday Boot Drive. Fans dropped bills and coins into a fireman’s boot for a total of $438.
Firemen Anthony Peluso (left) and Spencer Bennett collect funds inside the Centennial lobby. "We're very happy to support" the Whalers, Bennett said. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns / White Rock Whalers.
Boots are made for giving
“The Whalers are obviously a part of the White Rock community and we’re very happy to support them,” said fireman Spencer Bennett.
While the Whalers are relatively new kids on the block – the reborn franchise is now in its fourth year – Bennett grew up in White Rock and appreciated the off-ice opportunity to give back to his neighbours.
“I feel very lucky to be here. It’s really a treat going to work every day,” he added with a smile.
Bennett pointed out that the boot drive appeal encompassed multiple organizations – the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Association Burn Fund and the local Sources food bank – among others.
Fireman Spencer Bennett (left), Doug Clifford and his daughter Elly, fireman Anthony Peluso, and Whalers president Ronnie Paterson stand in front of a fire engine. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns / White Rock Whalers.
Fans, you can still make a Christmas miracle happen!
There are two other ways to support the boot drive.
First, you can drop off non-perishable food items and children’s toys to the donation bin outside the fire hall at 15315 Pacific Ave. in White Rock. The deadline for those donations is Christmas Eve.
Second, you can make an online donation for the Holiday Boot Drive with an e-transfer to: WRFFcharity@gmail.com.
Derrheim: Stick ‘on fire’
On the ice, the Whalers snapped a four-game losing streak. As mentioned earlier, defenceman Charlie Derrheim, a six foot one rookie from Tsawwassen, beat Flames goalie Cam Connolly for the only goal in the shootout.
A night earlier against the Grandview Steelers, Derrheim finally notched his first of the season with an absolute laser beam from the slot that went off the crossbar and in.
“My stick’s caught fire the last couple of games,” he commented.
Meanwhile, captain Chris Fortems scored twice, and at press time (Dec. 6), he still led the league in points with 51. His two linemates have continued their strong play as centreman Zac Sherwin is tied for second overall with 48 points; “Big Goal” Cole Svendson also is the league standard for goals with 25.
The Whalers went 2-for-3 with the man advantage, and new goalie Mark Paton picked up his first win for the Pod between the pipes.
The Whalers now have a record of 12 wins, 11 losses, and a lone shootout loss for 25 points. White Rock has sunk to fifth place in the six-team Tom Shaw Conference, one point behind the surging North Vancouver Wolf Pack.
Whaler defenceman Charlie Derrheim has been an offensive threat in the past two games. "Just keep improving and having fun," he said of his on-ice goals.
We thank the City of White Rock Fire Department for their heroism and cheering on the Whalers.
We also appreciate the assistance of Doug Clifford, the managing partner of Hugh & McKinnon Realty.
White Rock firemen Spencer Bennett (left) and Anthony Peluso.
Doug Clifford, managing partner of Hugh & Mckinnon Realty, with his son Tommy. The Cliffords assisted the Whalers behind the scenes.
Whalers president Ronnie Paterson with Doug Clifford's daughter Elly.
City of White Rock fireman Spencer Bennett
"We're able to support the community and they're able to support a couple of our charities as well," White Rock fireman Spencer Bennett commented.
Live Audio with Spencer Bennett
POST GAME AUDIO with Coach Rogers & Charlie Derrheim
Charlie was "due to break out offensively," pointed out head coach Jason Rogers.
Live Audio with Coach Rogers
"I've been chipping in offensively and I think I've done a good job," said Whaler defenceman Charlie Derrheim.
Live Audio with Charlie Derrheim
First: White Rock # 62 Cole Svendson
Second: Delta # 14 Alec Scouras
Third: Delta # 18 Dalton MacGillivray