Bay Reps, TC Central to Meet in Veterans’ Cup
TRAVERSE CITY – For the fifth year in a row, the Bay Reps and the Traverse City Central hockey teams will be taking part in the annual Veterans’ Cup.
This Saturday, the two teams will set their rivalry aside and hit the ice in the fundraiser to raise money for the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight and the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Coalition.
“It’s a really cool thing to be a part of since we raise so much money for the Honor Flight. And it’s so much fun to play in this game. It feels like a playoff game because there’s always so many people here and it’s pretty exciting to be a part of.” Elk Rapids senior and Bay Reps defenseman Zach VanCompernolle said.
Traverse City Central senior left wing Noah Kendra agreed.
“I think it being an annual game helps it because every year we come back and get to play again and just like the background…helping out the veterans and just joining forces for the game is really special,” he said.
All of the proceeds from the event go to the cause including ticket revenue and donations. Each year, the game has raised more money for the cause.
“Last year, our game alone raised around $20,000. So we’re hoping to, not only hit, but exceed that mark this year, and last I saw, we were well on our way.” Bay Reps head coach Ryan Fedorinchik said. “So, it’s a great event for our kids, and it’s a great event for our community to send the veterans to Washington, DC in the spring.”
According to Traverse City Central head coach Chris Givens, the event is all about giving back to those who sacrificed the most.
“Knowing that what we’re doing is playing a big part in being able to send veterans on those Honor Flights so that they can go to Washington, DC and see the monuments and the memorials that were built in their honor is pretty special,” he said. “I think it’s important for the kids to be involved in it because if it weren’t for our veterans, and the sacrifices that they’ve made, the world we live in could be very, very different.”
There will be a ceremonial puck drop taking place before the game begins at 6 p.m. in addition to pep talks with Veterans taking place before. There will also be events taking place in between periods such as the singing of God Bless America sung by Miss AMVETS, a performance from the Traverse City Figure Skating Club, a tribute to veterans and more.
If you would like to make a donation to the cause, make checks payable to “Mid-Michigan Honor Flight.”
“It just makes you feel so good that you’re playing the game you love and making so much money for such a great cause,” VanCompernolle said.