By Andrew Gunn and Alex Popen
Joe Thornton is returning to his hometown of St. Thomas for two very special events.
On Friday, June 22nd, Thornton will be helping to host ‘The Big Assist’, an intimate evening inside the historic Elgin County Railway Museum to raise funds to support the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and the STEAM Centre. Donors who contribute $2500 (or more!) to boost the two charitable organizations will enjoy a relaxed night of local food and drinks set in and around the impressive collection of locomotives and railway artifacts in the Museum event space.
Next, on Saturday, June 23rd, the City of St. Thomas is honouring Thornton for his remarkable career by naming the arena at 75 CASO Crossing the ‘Joe Thornton Community Centre’. The whole community is invited to attend this awesome event! It is recommended that members of the public come to the arena by 12:30pm. Beginning at 12:45pm, there will be an on-ice presentation in the St. Thomas Minor Hockey Association rink featuring Joe Thornton and representatives of the City, which will include the official naming of the arena and the unveiling of the photo of Thornton that will be placed on the ‘Wall of Fame’ inside the building. After that, starting at 1:30pm, all youth (age 17 and under) are invited to lace up the skates and get on-the-ice with Joe! (The City notes that, depending on volume, skaters may be limited to 15 minutes, just to ensure that all kids on hand have the opportunity to get onto the ice).
These two events help to mark an extraordinary period of transition for St. Thomas. Roughly ten years ago, the City was hit very hard by the Great Recession, suffering through the closure of a number of local businesses and losing thousands of jobs in the process. The good news is that the community has rebounded dramatically through a series of small and large-scale investments by both the private and public sector. With ‘The Big Assist’ and the re-naming of the local arena, the story of St. Thomas is continuing to change for the better … with a little help from one of the greatest hockey players of all-time!
The Big Assist
When: Friday, June 22, 7-11pm
Where: Elgin County Railway Museum, 225 Wellington Street, St. Thomas
Why: Celebrating donors who contribute $2500 (or more!) in support of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and the STEAM Centre
How to Get Involved: contact Paul Jenkins, Executive Director of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jessica Moyes, Executive Director of the STEAM Centre, at email@example.com
The City of St. Thomas Honours Joe Thornton
When: Saturday, June 23, 12:30pm
Where: Joe Thornton Community Centre, 75 CASO Crossing, St. Thomas
Why: Official ceremony at 12:45pm to name the arena in recognition of Joe Thornton and his remarkable career in hockey, and to add his photo to the ‘Wall of Fame’ inside the arena; beginning at 1:30pm, all youth (age 17 and under) are invited to skate with Joe!
How to Get Involved: come out to the arena, bring the kids, and have a great time!