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Titans tourney skates smoothly to community sports support for kids

Posted on February 8, 2024 by Taber Times

By Greg Price
For Taber Times

T

he afterglow of the Taber Titans Charity Hockey Tournament weekend is still in full effect. The second annual, which happened Jan. 19-21 at the Taber Arena and Community Centre, featured numerous teams, prize raffles, beer gardens and food, 50/50 and a cabaret, meant many kids are going to realize their sports dreams. 

“There are still some bills left to pay, but it looks like money raised overall will be less than last year, but still a solid total,” said Danny Weiss, treasurer for Taber Titans Charity. “Given how busy the weekend was with several things happening in southern Alberta, that’s still a pretty good showing of support. Plus, last year we had barbecuing weather at this time and this year the weather did not cooperate as much.”

The Taber Chamber Dinner, a food and beverage expo in Lethbridge, a Black and Blue basketball tournament at St. Mary’s and live music at other venues… and still a huge showing of support for the Titans. 

“We had well over 80 donated raffle items featured in two seperate raffles which goes to show how generous the business and family community is in this town. It is something we are forever grateful for,” said Kyle Davidson, secretary for Taber Titans Charity. “Add in team registrations, alcohol, 50/50 and canaret ticket sales…. so many Taber-area citizens opened up their wallets and hearts to our cause.” 

That cause had Taber Titans Charity president Taylor Gouw and fellow MC Joel Mills at the cabaret night announcing the Titans will be sponsoring every U5 child with Taber and District Soccer Association to play for free for the 2024 season. 

“We hope it sparks a lifelong love of the game for young families starting out in sport,” said Gouw. “We are anticipating 100 kids or more registering and we are proud of the initiative.” Another initiative is the Taber Titans being part of a community hockey game on March 9 at 1 p.m. at the Taber Arena. Exact details still have to be ironed out, but it will include the youngest age groups in minor hockey, local-area celebrities and other teams to play each period. Admission is a cash or food donation. Donors can add their name to three confirmed door prizes. Plans are for a 50/50 to be run with the help of service clubs. 

“We help disadvantaged families enjoy the extras of sport which can bring so much joy and teach so many positive things to youth,” said Gouw. “The Taber Food Bank helps disadvantaged families with the base necessities to ensure local families never go hungry. There’s a synergy to both our causes and the food bank is something the Titans truly believe in.” 

When all was said and done as the clock struck zero for the championship game, Team Kerner defeated Team Rhodes and was handed the Joe Orban Trophy. Joe Orban and family were present to help give the trophy after his namesake in a truly magical moment, with Orban also giving words of wisdom to the players and the gathered crowd. 

“Joe has suffered some health issues this past year, but we reallly wanted him to be there. He is Taber’s Mr. Hockey,” said Cole McCracken, board member with Taber Titans Charity. “We heard this was the first time he felt like his old self since he was wheelchair bound. Our hearts are full we were able to give Joe and his family the joy of the moment. It was the perfect way to end the tournament.”

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