Second annual Destig Cup in Memory of Patty raises $21,000 in support of Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre

The action was fast and furious all day on Saturday, Dec. 21 at the second annual Patrice Wren Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament organized by Mike Minns of Destig Shop in support of mental health organizations. The final game (pictured) was held under the lights thanks to Murphy Ford that supplied two 2019 pickup trucks to illuminate the sports court on Peter Street beside the Pub House by Milano's. Anthony Dixon Anthony Dixon / jpg, PM

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Now that the hockey ball is rolling, it continues to gain momentum. The second annual Destig Cup in Memory of Patty raised approximately $21,000 for the Robbie Dean Family Counselling Centre in Pembroke, up over $8,000 from the amount raised last year.

In addition to a day filled with 3-on-3 hockey, the event held on Saturday, Dec. 21 included a silent auction, bake sale and raffle. It was all held at the Pub House by Milano in Pembroke with the ball hockey action taking place outside on the sports court located on Peter Street beside the pub.

The Valley Property Shop Vipers were crowned champions in a thrilling 5-4 final game that went down to the wire.

The tournament was organized by Mike Minns, founder of the Destig Shop clothing brand with the goal of spreading awareness and helping destigmatize the way people see mental illness. Through clothing sales, the brand is associated with this idea, as profits from sales will be donated to mental health organizations. Minns launched Destig to pay tribute to Patrice (Patty) Wren, who died April 18, 2018 after struggling with mental illness.

Last year’s first annual tournament raised roughly $12,800 so Minns was understandably thrilled to see this year’s fundraising effort bring in over $20 thousand.

“It’s been a really successful day for sure,” Minns said. “It’s been above and beyond what I expected.”

The final game for the Destig Cup was played under the lights in rather frigid conditions. Those lights were supplied by a pair of new 2019 pickup trucks loaned for that use. It made for a truly Canadian moment – street hockey played at night under vehicle lights.

“Last year we panicked because the scheduled ran later than we expected so we threw our own personal cars out there but this year, Eddy from Murphy Ford loaned us two 2019 pickup trucks that were getting a lot of attention out there,” Minns said. “There were a lot of amazing sponsors that gave a bunch of items that raised a lot of money for us.”

The tournament was full with 10 teams taking part in the adult division with a couple of other teams who hoped to take part signed to a waiting list.

The kids division had originally featured four teams but one had to drop out leaving an opening. Coming to the rescue were the Pembroke Lumber Kings.

“With the kids, we only had three teams. There was supposed to be four but one dropped out last minute for some family reasons and we all understand that. So what we did is throw the Lumber Kings in to play a few of those games,” Minns said. “The Lumber Kings were great sponsors too, they gave us a bunch of tickets that the kids won, and Lumber King hats.”

Minns noted that some Lumber Kings alumni came back to play in the tournament including Chris Minns, Justin Felhaber, and Cale List. Although he didn’t play, former King Sam Gleason attended as well which was special to Minns for a couple of reasons.

“It was special to have him here. He was always one of my good buddies growing up and he and Patty (Patrice Wren) played together at Nipissing as Lakers,” Minns said adding one of Gleason’s Nipissing University hockey jerseys from that time was one of the special items up for auction during the evening portion of the event. In addition to the evening live auction, there was a raffle on a signed John Tavares jersey provided by Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, who coached Wren in Pembroke with the Kings.

Liam Poirier, one of the members of the Vipers that won the tournament, said he wanted to let organizers know how much the players appreciated the hard work that went into hosting the event and that it was a really fun day in support of a great cause.

“It’s an event we look forward to every year. It’s always well done and well organized. It hits close to home with us as we were good friends with Patty. It was an all-around great day of hockey. We were in it last year as well and it’s an event we’ll do every year from here on out. It’s a lot of fun, we all really enjoy it,” Poirier said.

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The Valley Property Shop Vipers took top spot thanks to a 5-4 win in the final game at the second annual Destig Cup in Memory of Patty ball hockey tournament. The team consists of, from left, Jake Edwards, Liam Poirier, Dylan Godin, Dylan Godin, Braydon Couturier and Lucas Driscoll. Anthony Dixon