June 15th, 2024

Lions Club Gear Up campaign returns this month

By Mo Cranker on August 6, 2018.

Lions Club of Medicine Hat member James Higgins organizes some hockey equipment Friday in preparation of the organization's annual Gear Up campaign. The event is running from Aug. 24-26 and will accept donations of used hockey and ringette gear, then will distribute it to families in need. -- NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER


The Lions Club of Medicine Hat is bringing its Gear Up campaign back for the seventh consecutive year, and will be accepting hockey and ringette equipment donations at the end of the month.

“What we do for is for two days on Friday and Saturday we collect old hockey equipment and then on Sunday we hand it out to people who need it,” said Lions Club member James Higgins. “We know that kids grow every year and a lot of the time need new equipment every year.

“Playing sports is a big part of being a kid for a lot of people and we just think it’s unfair that some families have to miss out on that opportunity because money is tight.”

The event runs from Aug. 24-26 with the first two days acting as collection days from 1-6 p.m. at the Hockey Hounds Arena, then the Sunday will be a distribution day where families can line up and get free equipment from the club.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years for us doing this in the community, but there’s a need in the community,” said Higgins. “We hope that one day the need goes away but until then, we will keep holding this event every year.”

The club helped 84 kids get some sort of gear in 2016 and 75 in 2017. Higgins says the club is hoping to get more rural families involved this year.

“There’s a lot of families out in the county and in rural places that may have a bunch of hockey or ringette gear that they no longer need,” said Higgins. “There also might be some families out in the county that can’t afford to get their kids in organized sports — we’re opening this program up to anyone who needs it.”

The club is asking people to donate any equipment item that isn’t a jock or mouth guard, and is asking people to clear bags of any clothing items such as jerseys before donating to the campaign.

The club is also looking for sponsors for the event.

Anyone interested or looking for more information can call Higgins at 403-527-0140.

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