Big win in Brown’s name

The Gananoque Reporter - - NEWS - WAYNE LOWRIE Post­media Net­work

Mem­o­ries of Gord Brown flooded the Lou Jef­fries Arena on Wed­nes­day (Nov. 28) as fam­ily, friends and col­leagues gath­ered to cel­e­brate the late MP’s love of hockey.

In the process, the Gord Brown me­mo­rial rink fund and the United Way of Leeds and Grenville skated $80,000 closer to their goals.

The char­ity hockey game, dubbed Hockey Night in Leeds and Grenville, was a fit­ting way to re­mem­ber Brown.

“This brings to­gether two of Gord’s pas­sions – hockey and com­mu­nity,” Brown’s widow Clau­dine Cour­tois told the sold-out 1,500-seat crowd at the arena.

Brown, 57, died of a heart at­tack in his Par­lia­ment Hill of­fice on May 2, just hours af­ter play­ing one of his fre­quent pickup hockey games.

Cour­tois told the crowd that if Brown couldn’t be found on Par­lia­ment Hill, work­ing with con­stituents or with his fam­ily on the week­end, he’d be at the rink.

Half of the money raised at the char­ity game will go to­ward in­stalling the Canada 150 rink in Gananoque, which wi l l be named the Gord Brown Me­mori a l Canada 150 Out­door Hockey Rink.

“The shock of los­ing Gord is still with us but see­ing his dream com­ing closer to re­al­ity is very touch­ing and com­fort­ing. Gord would have been truly hon­oured to see this be­come a re­al­ity,” Cour­tois said.

Gord’s brother Jeff Brown, who is head­ing up the rink fundrais­ing ef­forts, said the game’s pro­ceeds will help en­sure the com­mit­tee reaches its $850,000 goal.

Build­ing an out­door mu­nic­i­pal rink in Gananoque had long been a pas­sion of Gord Brown’s and the Thou­sand Is­lands Ac­com­mo­da­tion Part­ners, which was co-founded by Gord and is now chaired by Jeff, be­gan work­ing on the rink project and on bring­ing the Canada 150 rink to Gananoque be­fore Brown’s death. Af­ter the MP died, the or­ga­niz­ers re­dou­bled their ef­forts to bring the rink to town as a tribute to Brown.

Theother half of the $80,000 raised Wed­nes­day will go to the United Way of Leeds and Grenville, which was an­other ben­e­fi­ciary of Gord Brown’s com­mu­nity spirit. As MP, Brown or­ga­nized seven other Hockey Nights in Leeds and Grenville that raised about $800,000 for the United Way.

The game on Wed­nes­day saw mem­bers of the Brown fam­ily, re­tired pro­fes­sional hockey play­ers, po­lit­i­cal col­leagues of all stripes, in­clud­ing fed­eral, provin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers, and for­mer team­mates from Brown’s beer league team lace up skates.

It was the Blue Team against the White Team, although the Blues could have just as eas­ily been called the Brown Team. Five play­ers donned Brown jer­seys – Jeff, son Chance and neph­ews Colin, Graeme and Sean.

The po­lit­i­cal stick- han­dlers in­cluded lo­cal MPP Steve Clark, Brockville Mayor David Hen­der­son, House of Com­mons Speaker Ge­off Re­gan and six MPs fromthe fed­eral Con­ser­va­tive cau­cus.

WAYNE LOWRIE/ POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Brown fam­ily mem­bers pre­pare for the start of the game.

WAYNE LOWRIE/ POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Chance Brown, Gord's son, in ac­tion.

WAYNE LOWRIE/ POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

The game sells out the Lou Jef­fries arena in Gananoque.

WAYNE LOWRIE/ POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

MPP Steve Clark talks with Jeff Brown dur­ing a break in the ac­tion.

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