In the daily grind we often take things for granted. We often lose perspective. We often forget what matters most and the sacrifices people make for us everyday.
Sometimes we even forget to show our appreciation and say thank you.
Perspective and thankfulness is rapidly gained in times of struggle and adversity.
The rebirth of the Red Wing in Fredericton, New Brunswick has reminded us all of the power of community spirit and an unwavering responsibility and pride to say thank you.
In their triumphant return to the Maritime Hockey League the Fredericton Red Wings made sure to honour and say thank you to as many people as they could throughout their inaugural season.
The Red Wings have continued that initiative long after their season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Red Wings felt compelled to help.
The organization felt compelled to say thank you to their community, their province and the entire country by lending a helping hand to all of the front line medical workers and essential workers during these unprecedented times.
“The Thank you Campaign was originally set up to say thank you to all those across Canada each day putting themselves out there for us,” said Red Wings President Roger Shannon.
“The idea of funds being raised for different organizations was always thought about, as a bonus and a way for the campaign to spread,” Shannon added.
“It is normal to say thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff who are and always have been called ‘front line workers’, however we wanted to be sure everyone is included, truck drivers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, all the clerks, store workers and more.”
“The campaign means a lot to us, because it is an opportunity to be part of a solution to a problem, and keep busy, keep moving forward and doing positive things,” Shannon said proudly.
Saying thank you can go a long way.
“I think the Red Wings always felt from the start connecting with the community was key to success both on and off the ice.”
“The connection a sports team develops in their community spreads throughout many corners,” explained Shannon.
“It can provide something for people to do, provides young heroes for kids to look up to, it becomes part of the very fabric.”
“The QMJHL and the MHL in our provinces across the Maritimes, play a significant role in helping young people, giving some people hope.”
“A team is bigger than the players it is truly the sum of all the parts and with that, being a community team is key, more so than ever,” said Shannon.
“When this is over and COVID-19 is behind us, hockey teams and sports teams are going to play an even bigger role because we will have realized what we had, what they mean to communities and I am hopeful it truly shows us that meaning,” said Shannon.
The Thank You Campaign was officially launched on April 17th and was gaining significant traction before the unimaginable, unspeakable and senseless tragedy occurred in Nova Scotia.
“The tragedy in Nova Scotia has hit everyone hard,” Shannon said who served on the Fredericton Police Force and RCMP in his former career.
“It’s totally shocking to our world, something so grievous and destructive to human lives and families.”
The Thank You Campaign shifted its focus almost instantly.
“The idea of the MHL stepping in and creating the MHL Nova Scotia Victims Fund was a natural for our organization as we have teams in twelve communities across the Maritime Provinces, six in Nova Scotia alone.”
“We were already in the middle of the Thank You Campaign and we simply changed course for a period,” Shannon said.
The shift in campaign efforts has raised over $12,000 including a $5000 donation from the Maritime NHLer’s For Kids for the MHL Nova Scotia Victims Fund.
The compassionate close-knit hockey community across this region continues to unite showing strength and support in the darkest of times.
Compassion in the time of tragedy provides strength and hope.
As for the Thank You Campaign, Shannon’s vision remains fixated on always giving back and being appreciative of others efforts during and after these times.
“I would like to see a Thank You Campaign decal on every home and car in our country, now is that possible, yes, will that be the case, probably not, but we will have at least tried.”
“What a world it would be if that happened, that would mean every single time you fire up the engine to go somewhere, you will remember why you put that decal on there in the first place and maybe everyone will be just a bit more thankful for those that worked those front lines during this time.”
Shannon and the Red Wing organization along with another partnering organization are planning to launch another major fund raising initiative later this week to help a local foundation.
For more information on the MHL Nova Scotia Victims Fund Click Here: https://www.themhl.ca
For more information on the Thank You Campaign Click Here: https://www.frederictonredwings.com/thankyou