Three Rupertites are bringing a former NHL player and his son to Prince Rupert to help raise money for military families.
Next summer, former Edmonton Oiler player Louie Debrusk and his son, Boston Bruins forward Jake Debrusk, are coming to Prince Rupert where they will go on a fishing trip that was purchased at a fundraiser auction for the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre on Dec. 2 in Edmonton.
The trip was conceived and facilitated by Lindsay Gidney, Gary Vanderwiel and Jim Burns, each of whom have close personal connections to the military. Gidney has served for 10 years in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, completing tours in Cyprus, Namibia and Bosnia. His son is currently serving in the military, and he, along with Vanderwiel and Burns, wanted to do something to support Canadian troops overseas.
“We thought about what we could do to help the troops, did some research and picked the family resource centre as our beneficiary,” he said.
The three have been donating a fishing trip to Prince Rupert for the last three years with Vanderwiel covering the cost of the fishing charter, Burns taking care of the hotel and Gidney paying for the airfare.
This will be the first time they have brought an NHL player on board for the trip. Gidney connected with the senior Debrusk after he won an opportunity to play with the Oilers in a separate competition in 2014.
“He was a really awesome guy to talk to,” he said. “Really friendly and asked a lot of questions.”
Later, when Gidney thought of including two NHL players on the trip, he said Debrusk and his son gladly volunteered.
“They both didn’t hesitate to say yes,” he said.
Gidney said that four people will be traveling to Prince Rupert for the fishing trip, and while he is not sure how much money the prize went for, he is glad the proceeds can go to a cause that is so close to home for him.
“The military has been such a big part of my life, this is a way that I can give back,” he said.
The three-day trip will take place in June.