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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Reaume family and 73’s partner to raise awareness for CMHA


by Garrett Fodor

A local family and hockey club are partnering together to raise awareness and support for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), while honouring one of their own by hosting a fundraising skate at the Essex Centre Sports Complex on Sunday, in addition to a Mental Health Night during the January 4 game between the Essex 73’s and the Amherstburg.

  The Essex 73’s and Reaume family are partnering in an effort to raise awareness and support for the CMHA in honour of the late Mike Reaume, who was a fixture in the community from his time at the rink as a player with the Essex 73’s, as a fan of the local hockey team, and with the local business he ran, Dairy Freez.

  As a player with the 73’s, Reaume won two Schmalz Cups, in 1977 and 1978, while serving as team captain during the latter year. On the ice, Reaume still holds the record for most points by a defensemen in a season with 106, and most assists by a defensemen in a season with 86. 

“Mike was proud to have played for the 73’s, seeing his records still standing, and to be from the community,” Arlene Reaume, Reaume’s wife, said. “Even after his playing days, he’d bring our son, Jim, to the games. He loved it, the team, and community around it.”

  When Arlene approached the 73’s with the idea, Tim Law, Executive Member, responsible for community events, said the 73’s were more than happy to help out and to help host the events and honour Mike and his legacy. Looking ahead, Law added, he will look to make a CMHA night an annual event on the 73’s calendar, stating the importance and need for it. 

  “There are a lot more mental health issues out there than people realize and when people are struggling with it, we cannot always see that,” Law said. “We want to bring this to the forefront and give people the resources they may need. We’ve been having CMHA reps at the games for people to talk to and our goal is to raise awareness and to save a life.”

  On Sunday, as a part of the fundraiser, the 73’s and Reaume family hosted Skate with the 73’s. The event was by donation with proceeds going to the CMHA. Aside from the skate, Arlene and the Reaume family organized a raffle, with prizes being donated from throughout the community. She described the support and response as incredible with so many people quick to help and lend a hand in any way they could. The proceeds will be donated to the CMHA.

  Prior to the 73’s game on January 4, the Reaume family will partake in a ceremonial puck-drop. During the game, the club will draw the 18 raffle winners. With January 4 being Mike Reaume’s birthday, it will be a special night for the entire family. Arlene is grateful for the 73’s and the community support throughout the project and the last year. 

  Tickets will be sold at the 73’s game on January 4 prior to the drawing. Anyone interested can also email yourmindmattersdf@gmail.com, with proceeds from the raffle going to the CMHA.

  For additional resources and information, people are encouraged to visit cmha.ca. The Reaume family have also created an event page there, titled ‘Your Mind Matters.’

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