Wear pink to the rink

Western Financial Place will be “electric” March 2 as students, the Kootenay Ice and the community come together to promote acceptance.

On Saturday, March 2, Western Financial Place will be filled with an atmosphere even more electric than during last month’s Tragically Hip concert.

So says Laurie Middle School principal David Standing, who is helping organize a unique anti-bullying event during the Kootenay Ice game against Medicine Hat.

Pink The Rink will see students from all of Cranbrook’s schools fill the arena, wearing pink to mark the anti-bullying movement Pink Shirt Day, which is February 27.

The event coincides with a School Spirit Night for the Ice, and the game against Medicine Hat is set to be a momentous one.

“We are in a battle with Medicine Hat for a playoff spot,” said Kootenay Ice sales director Geoff Davidson. “It could be one of the biggest games of the year, and with that many people it’s going to be a fun night. It’s going to be electric. We are hoping for a sell-out with all the schools on board.”

Organizers are encouraging the community to come to the March 2 game in force – wearing pink.

“It’s going to be packed. It’s going to be a sea of pink in Western Financial Place,” said David Standing. “We are hoping the patrons wear pink, even the rough old guys in the corner.”

School students and their families can pick up tickets at a special rate, and with the momentum gathering around Pink the Rink, the game could be a sell-out.

“The usual crowd at an Ice game is between 2600 and 3000. We are trying to get upwards of 4500 people in Western Financial Place,” said Standing.

“It’s an important issue and something that needs to be addressed everywhere. So if we can have an audience of 4,000 people, it creates a lot of awareness,” said Davidson.

The goal of Pink The Rink is to show Cranbrook’s support for acceptance of all kinds of people.

The idea came from two Grade 9 students at Laurie Middle School, Matt Lavery and Justin Walburger.

“They said they wanted to do something about anti-bullying and acceptance,” said Standing.

“I listened to their idea and said, okay, I’m in, and I’ll do everything I can to help.

“We have got to get an anti-bullying message out there.

Community support for the message of acceptance will only make Pink the Rink an even more memorable event.

“It’s a perfect storm. It’s a big game, it’s a big crowd, it’s the best message. It should be one of the best sights ever in Western Financial Place – even better than the Tragically Hip,” said Standing.