Mount Baker Wild clash against Cranbrook Firefighters in charity basketball game

The annual McDonald’s Wildfire Classic saw a showdown between the Wild and local firefighters

The Cranbrook Fire Department traded out their fire gear for basketball shoes as they faced the Mount Baker Secondary School senior girls basketball team in the eighth annual McDonald’s Wildfire Classic.

The senior girl’s team claimed victory for the eighth straight year winning 57-51.

The Wild donned their black jerseys while the firefighters added a little something to their uniform, including many different wigs, all the while raising money for a good cause.

“We are raising money for the BC Professionals Fire Fighters Association Burn Fund,” said Murray Robertson, local Burn Fund representative.

“It’s one of the main charities that we raise funds for, and it goes throughout the province. One of the big things is we have the BC Burn Fund Centre. So, if kids or adults are burned throughout B.C. they have a place where they can stay and their families can have a place to stay.”

With this being the eighth year the event has been held it has always been a fan favourite.

“We love playing this game,” said Robertson. “This is the one event that we never have any trouble getting volunteers for. Our guys look forward to it, and the girls look forward to it as well — especially for them because they beat us every time.”

With them being on the losing side each year, the strategy going into it was to pray.

“We have height, not much skill and that keeps it usually close, but they are young, athletic and skilled and it shows,” said Murray.

Kaliana Ewaskow, Grade 11, said there was no game plan going in, but was extremely excited.

“Our team is just excited to play together. This will be Gabby’s last year, she is the only Grade 12 on our team, so we just want to make it fun for everybody. We are just really excited to have a fun game,” she said.

This was the first time Ewaskow got to participate in the annual event and she says she loved watching it in past years.

“It was enjoyable to watch for sure,” she added.

This is the last game the Wild played for the season, and ending it off on a fun note was a good way.

“It’s really nice just to have a fun wrap up, we are all really happy to be here right now,” said Ewaskow. “It’s an opportunity for us to keep playing the game we love, but also for a really good cause.”

McDonald’s has partnered with the event and donated $500 each year towards the total donation to the Burn Fund.

“We have a great relationship with the fire department … and the burn fund is an important thing in the province, so we are more than pleased to contribute and be part of this to support it,” said David Kaiser, owner of the Cranbrook McDonald’s.

This year the event raised $906, which all went to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund.

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