Rock skating out of comfort zone with Gerry Dee

TIMMINS – The Timmins Rock are stepping out of their comfort zone with an upcoming fundraiser featuring Gerry Dee.

The comedian, best known for playing the lead role in the CBC series Mr. D, will be at École secondaire catholique Thériault on Nov. 26. Tickets went on sale Friday morning, and Rock president Ted Gooch said the response has already been amazing.

“We had 150 tickets sold in the first ten or 15 minutes since we launched. The response has been overwhelming. We hope and we truly believe that it will be a sell-out,” said Gooch. “We hope the residents of Timmins don’t wait and get their tickets early for this event.”

VIP ticket-holders will pay $100 for a meet-and-greet with the comedian, while regular tickets sell at $80.

Normally, the Rock would hold hockey-related events.

“We’ve been staying with hockey celebrities, with either fundraiser dinners or fundraiser golf tournaments,” said Gooch. “We really wanted to branch out, and try to include some of the non-hockey community.”

The organization saw comments on Gerry Dee’s website from Timmins residents asking him to visit this city for a show.

“We picked up on that and we thought it would be great to expand our comfort zone and move into the comedy field.”

Dee has played university varsity hockey, and worked as a hockey coach. He’s also had a number of hockey moments on his CBC show. Nathan MacKinnon, a Nova Scotian who plays with the Colorado Avalanche, appeared on the show during season three.

MacKinnon played a young hockey player, that Dee’s character – unaware of the young man’s talent – berated for missing too much school for playing hockey.

“Hockey is not a job,” Mr. D tells the NHL-er.

Gooch doesn’t have a fundraising goal – “we’re just happy to make some proceeds and provide a great entertainment opportunity for the people in Timmins.”

He saw Dee perform in Sudbury.

“Ever since I’ve seen his stand-up comedy, I’ve been a fan. He puts on a show and the audience will surely be impressed with him.”

Local comedian Rick Lemieux will MC the event, while Richard Steudle, who is from Iroquois Falls and has performed in Timmins, is slated as the opening act.

Fans of the comedian who can’t make the show can head to the McIntyre Arena for a 3 p.m. game against the Powassan Voodoos.

“He will be participating in a ceremonial puck drop to start the game. Fans that can’t make the show can come out for a chance to meet Gerry at the McIntyre Arena, or take some photos of him dropping the puck.”

Gooch said the support the Rock have received so far from the community is reflected both at the games and at fundraisers.

“We’re ranked number one in the league for this season again for attendance. We have good support in the community and large crowds at the arenas,” he said. “We have a high following of people that like to support the club and get involved with any events that we do have.”

Tickets are available at timminsrock.com.

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