GOJHL Teams Help Various Charities – by C. Scott Holland

It doesn’t matter which of the 26 GOJHL teams one supports, the chances are your team has already done one or more major fundraisers or drawn attention to them. Many teams also now have special nights throughout their seasons to raise monetary funds to support a wide number of causes.

Today it is an integral part of junior hockey.

Not long after the season begins it is October –  a month in which Breast Cancer and other cancer awareness is raised. Pink becomes the predominant colour for all teams. Everything from tape to laces to sweaters. And for some teams like the Leamington Flyers raising funds to help with cancer research is a serious thing. The Flyers have been doing “Pink on the Rink Night” now for over 10 years.  Almost every family has been touched by a form of the disease and yet despite some strides being made, it is still as deadly as it was 50 years ago.

Right on the heels of that comes Movember – a month when men grow moustaches or beards to bring awareness to men’s health issues. Once again the GOJHL’s 26 teams are very involved in the campaign to bring attention to the many types of medical conditions that affect young and older men. The growing of beards and moustaches to symbolize this – and simultaneously make some money for research has grown immensely the last couple of seasons. And for every young player, and the GOJHL, it is a cause that should not be ignored.

Although it does not get the attention like the other two causes, November also happens to be diabetes awareness month. Today there are more than 11 million diabetics living in Canada. That works out to one in four a chance of developing the disease at sometime in one’s life. The disease affects the pancreas which produces insulin to help regulate the glucose (sugar in one’s blood).

There are three types of diabetics. Type 1 is prevalent in childhood and adolescence. It comprises about 10% of Canada’s diabetics while type 2 runs about 90% and develops in older adults.

A third type is Gestational which develops during pregnancy and affects two to four per cent.

Diabetes is considered the most common disease found in Canadians.

If tackling those disease isn’t enough, many of the GOJHL teams also find the time to support other causes. EMS personnel (firefighters, emergency services and police), minor hockey associations, community living and other essential elements of our society.

But during the next week many of us will pay a highly fitting tribute to our Veterans for the sacrifices which they made to give us the freedoms we so wonderfully enjoy today.

All fans in every area of the 26 communities which host the GOJHL teams should heed and help these events. Remember your health and welfare is a primary concern. Don’t let “minor” symptoms go ignored. Have an annual checkup.

And more than anything else do not take our freedom for granted:  Lest we forget.

Scott Holland is an accomplished author, a former Western Jr. B Hockey League statistician and is recognized as the West Conference’s and GOJHL’s historian. A lifelong resident of Leamington Scott was a journalist for the now defunct Leamington Post for 26 years and writes occasional articles for the Southpoint Sun and the Strathroy Age Dispatch. Among the books he has authored are:  75 Years: A History of the Leamington and Erie Shores Golf Course; A Century In The Making – History of Heinz Canada 1909-2009; Leamington Flyers 1992/93-2011/12 Platinum Anniversary Special Program; the Western Jr. B Record Book 2003/04 and 2005/05 editions; as well as updates of both the West, Mid-West and Golden Horseshoe Conference and GOJHL Record Books and Playoff Record Books  He has been a member of he Leamington Jr. Flyers hockey club for the last 28 years and has served many years as a board member, statistician, in the press box as an announcer, and scorekeeper among other duties. He has been named the West Conference Volunteer of Year and a Windsor-Essex Sportsperson of Year award. He resides in Leamington.

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