A young fan takes part in the Sarnia Legionnaires' 2022 Turkey Toss (Photo by Shawna Lavoie Photography)A young fan takes part in the Sarnia Legionnaires' 2022 Turkey Toss (Photo by Shawna Lavoie Photography)

Legionnaires annual charity events help hundreds in need

The Sarnia Legionnaires have a couple of special holiday fundraisers coming up in support of local charities.

The GOJHL club's annual Turkey Toss is on Thursday, December 7, and the Penny M. Lilley Wooly Toss is coming up on Thursday, December 14 at the downtown Pat Stapleton Arena.

Legionnaires President Terry Lilley said the Turkey Toss is always a really entertaining event.

"Every year, we donate to a charity, and this year it's the Inn of the Good Shepherd," said Lilley. "What happens is, people will bring in canned goods or dry products of any kind, to get into the arena. We then ask them to buy tickets for the turkeys. We have an old turkey that we use for throwing down the ice. We set up a net just past the blue line, and the people throw the turkey on the ice. If it goes into the net, people get to keep it, if it misses then it goes to the Inn. A lot of times, people will donate the turkey no matter what they do. We've done this for probably ten years now."

Lilley said the club is playing some good hockey lately, they've already matched their win total from last season.

He's encouraging everyone to come out and enjoy some high quality hockey.

"We'd like a lot more people to come to the game," he said. "Our attendance has been hurting the past couple of years. We haven't had the best of records so people stopped coming. But, we're playing a lot better right now so maybe we can get people to come help out. It's a wonderful cause to give the Inn some more food products and end up with some cash because they sell the turkey tickets. It's a win-win for the Inn."

Lilley said the Wooly Toss is a fundraiser that's near and dear to his heart.

When the Legionnaires score their first goal on December 14, fans will throw mitts, hats, and scarves onto the ice.

"Matt Churchill, who was a longtime member of the Legionnaires' staff, came to us about 15 years ago and said that we should do something other than a Teddy Bear Toss because that's an OHL thing. He suggested a Woolly Toss and we all thought that was a pretty good idea. We've done that for years and years and maybe got 500 to 700 items a year. They're divided up between St. Vincent de Paul, the Inn of the Good Shepherd and the Salvation Army. About four years ago, after my wife died, I asked Matt if it was okay to change the name. So, we changed it to the Penny M. Lilley Wooly Toss and it took off. Last year, we gave out over 2,500 items to the three charities. We also raised enough money that we were able to buy gift cards for the Yule Glow which is the Christmas Hampers."

Overall, the Legionnaires are 11-12-2-0, good for sixth place in the GOJHL's Western Conference standings.

They ended the 2022-23 campaign with a record of 11-32-6-1.

The next Sarnia Legionnaires broadcast on CHOK (103.9FM/1070AM) is coming up on Thursday, December 21.

Read More Local Stories