Strathmore Battle of the Badges set for a comeback
By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative ReporterHeadlines News Hot Topics
Feb. 17, 2023, Strathmore, Alta. – Fans of local hockey are in for a long-anticipated contest, as Strathmore’s Battle of the Badges is set to return for the first time since 2019.
Similar to the previous event, hosted prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the game will be played between the Strathmore Fire and RCMP detachments, with EMS personnel joining both teams.
“It got started back in 2018. It was me and a couple of other constables here. We’re talking with one of the guys in the fire department and we suggested that might be a good idea to organize something like that, and it morphed from that,” said Randy Romkey, a constable for the Strathmore RCMP.
The game was originally a hit in 2019, which, according to Romkey, raised nearly $10,000 for the Youth Family Hub and the Wheatland Food Bank.
Based on their initial success, the original intention was to make the fundraiser an annual event in town.
“We were very excited, then disappointed that COVID-19 put the kibosh on subsequent games,” said Romkey. “Especially the game in 2020, we were within 10 days of launching the game when everything was cancelled. It was very disappointing and we tried a couple of times to get another game going but unfortunately, circumstances were not on our side.”
The Battle of the Badges is partnering with School Fuel this year, a charity designed to provide food for school kids in Strathmore who can’t afford breakfasts.
Romkey said no specific fundraising goal have been set for the game this year, as everyone is just excited that it is able to finally take place. He added, however, he would like to see a similar turnout to what was seen four years ago.
“We just wanted to get the game up and running because we have had a lot of people asking about it,” he said. “We decided that we will get what we can and we are hoping that we will be close to our goal from the first game.”
Entry to the game will be purely by optional donation. Those who wish to come by can feel free to donate what they can afford. A 50/50 draw will be hosted during the game, and should time and donations allow, the team hopes to also host a silent auction.
Romkey added as the Strathmore Fire Department were victorious the last time, the RCMP are looking for some friendly payback come game time.
The Battle of the Badges is scheduled to host at the Strathmore Family Centre Arena in the Gold rink on March 26. The puck will drop at 4 p.m.
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