Hockey heroes

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The Airdrie Techmation Thunder got into the Christmas spirit Dec. 19, 2017, when it presented one of its players with 24 stockings and gifts to be donated to the Southern and Central Alberta Ronald McDonald House Charities.

For four-straight years, the Thunder and its main sponsor Techmation Electric and Controls LTD. teamed up to stuff 24 stockings for boys and girls newborn to 10 years old. Throughout the years, the Thunder wanted to become more prominent in the community and the annual stocking event has become one of the team’s mainstays.

“We support the community. Airdrie is a great place to live,” Thunder president Gord Ziegler said. “We’re trying to teach the kids to give back to the community and they like it.

“They really are growing from it…they absolutely support it. That’s what we want this community to be built around.”

In previous years, the stockings were donated to North Rocky View Community Links, but this season the team decided to donate to the Ronald McDonald House to coincide with newly-acquired forward Matt Thomson, who had held a toy drive in 2016 with his former team.

“The hockey world is a kind place…everyone is big-hearted and this is about little kids,” Thomson said. “It’s good to see the team, managers, families and everyone else get into it.”

Thomson’s desire to support Ronald McDonald House stemmed from the support he got from the organization when his daughter, Alora, was treated at the Alberta Children’s Hospital for five weeks for gastroschisis. During that time, Ronald McDonald House became a second home for Thomas while he and his family dealt with Alora’s condition.

“I just want this to get bigger and bigger every year,” Thomson said.

Ziegler said he doesn’t see the Thunder stockings event coming to an end any time soon.

“It’s a tradition. We’re here to support and we know people need support,” Ziegler said.

In addition to Techmation purchasing gifts for a Dec. 8, 2017, toy drive and the stocking items, the Thunder helped contribute to the cause and made sure families had a merry Christmas.

“We want to ensure we are giving back to organizations like Ronald McDonald House,” said Ronal Polsfut, vice president of operations with Techmation. “It’s our pleasure to help the folks that are making use of their services.”

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