Gananoque hockey players honour one of their own

Gananoque Minor Hockey League players paid tribute to one of their own on Thursday.

And in the process, the waterfront community showed off its strong sense of community with a large crowd at the Lou Jeffries Arena, as the U18 teams played their final league game against each other in honour of Luke Bruder, who died last September.

Bruder, 15, had played with many of the players on these teams.

“It was awesome,” said Marilynn Thivierge, an executive member of GMHA. “We had a full house, the stands in the rink were packed.”

The 50/50 winner won $1077.50. And the event raised almost $2,000 for the Gananoque and Area Food Bank and $1,000 to the Gananoque and District Humane Society.

“We also collected canned goods, non-perishable items for the food bank and we delivered that to the food bank last night,” said Thivierge

Bruder, who died at Toronto General Hospital in September, after an extended stay at Kidd 2 ICU, will always be in the hearts of his loving parents Chris and Michelle as well as his three brothers Matt, Ben and Josh.

Those who knew Bruder say they will remember his passion for all sports including hockey, football and soccer.

In his younger years, Bruder was known as always being the entertainment in the stands with his dance moves and cheeky smile. His kind and gentle demeanour was present for all to see and he always brought a smile to people's faces.

Bruder’s father, along with Matt, took part in the opening ceremony puck drop.

“It was emotional but very good,” said Thivierge.

“We had no idea how many people would show up but people just kept coming in, coming in and coming in," said Thivierge. "It was amazing. It was a great evening, with a lot of love in the arena for Luke.”

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times