By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
TIMMINS – Fans will have an opportunity to cheer on their favourite Junior ‘A’ squad and support a worthy cause at the same time Sunday night at the McIntyre Arena.
For the second-straight year, the Timmins Rock will be collecting donations in support of the Yo! Mobile during Sunday night’s clash with the Iroquois Falls Eskis.
It will be the first meeting of the two NOJHL rivals — the former Abitibi Eskimos (the Rock) and the current Eskis — since Nov. 4.
Timmins has won all three meetings of the two teams this season — 8-1 at the Jus Jordan Arena on Nov. 4, 7-5 at the NOJHL Showcase tournament in Sudbury on Oct. 12 and 6-2 at the Jus Jordan Arena on Oct. 5 — so Rock officials are hoping to see a large crowd at the McIntyre Arena Sunday night.
“We are hoping to see quite a few fans come out since we are playing a rival like the Eskis,” said Kevin Peever, a member of the Rock board of directors.
“Hopefully, some of the Eskis’ fans will make the 45-minute drive from Iroquois Falls to watch the game.
“Last year’s event was a great success. The Yo! Mobile and (president) Mario (Dussault) were able to receive some extra donations, which they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
“We are hoping to be able to give them a similar kind of boost again this year. A lot of people are very generous at Christmas time, but once the new year rolls around, sometimes organizations like the food banks and the Yo! Mobile become second thoughts.
“We just want to help bring it back to the forefront for everyone in the community. Hopefully, we will get a lot of people to come forward and help out with their great cause.”
More than 600 fans turned out to support the inaugural night in support of the Yo! Mobile on Feb. 24, 2016, with the Cochrane Crunch in town.
Dussault is grateful to the Rock for once again showing support for the Yo! Mobile.
“Every donation is good,” he said.
“What we really need is cash, fuel gift cards or grocery gift cards, but every donation is appreciated.”
The numbers of people in need of the Yo! Mobile’s services is higher than ever, especially with the current chilly temperatures.
“It has been crazy,” Dussault said.
“Last year, we had 4,500 people go on the bus in six months. Now, since the start of November, I think we are at 4,000. Last Saturday night, we had 162 people. It is the first time we had that many people on the bus.
“When it is very, very cold, we need to pick up some people for the shelter.”
Dussault has the Yo! Mobile out at the City Hall parking lot Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. until midnight.