Collection to honour late rec hockey player tops $1,200

IN MEMORIAM- Friends and teammates gather to honour the late Dennis McMaster at Lehigh Arena last week. (Foundation photo)

A well known and liked local recreational hockey player was remembered by his teammates last week as they donated funds to the local hospital redevelopment in his honour.

The Wellington Over 50 Hockey Group presented the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation with a $1,200 donation in memory of their late teammate Dennis McMaster on Tues, Dec. 4 at Lehigh Arena.

McMaster passed away suddenly on Oct.13. and was a good friend and teammate with the hockey players.

 Almost immediately after Dennis’s passing, several of his teammates began to consider how to perpetuate his memory.

The team thought it would be appropriate to memorialize Dennis with a tribute listing on the Foundation’s donor wall screen that recognizes gifts of $1,000 or more.

A collection was taken up and the team surpassed their $1,000 goal.

Dennis was a bright light everywhere he went,” said Brian Veenstra, a longtime friend of Dennis’s who was on hand for the presentation. “He lit up a room. He loved his family and his friends. He had such a big presence in so many people’s lives. That’s what we will always remember.” 

The Foundation continues to recognize the many individuals, corporations and community organizations that have been supporting our ongoing fundraising efforts that fund priority medical equipment purchases at PECMH and help get the organization closer to a new hospital in Prince Edward County.

It would be hard to find someone more passionate about life than Dennis.  His unwavering integrity and unique sense of humour left a positive impact on everyone he interacted with,” added Ron Aston on behalf of the hockey group. 

 “Dennis will be remembered for his gregarious laugh, his love for his family, friends and community, and for his colourful stories,” said Veenstra. “Above all, Dennis was devoted to his family. Through his generosity and actions, he remained to the end extraordinarily committed to the happiness of his wife Bonnie and children, Carly and Jamie.”

Medical equipment is expensive and has a short lifespan, and, unlike many operating costs, equipment is not funded by the provincial government; it is expected the community finances the replacement of medical equipment and building redevelopment through the work of hospital Foundations. 

The Foundation raises money in our community for the purchase of priority medical equipment needed for patient care at PECM Hospital.  Our patients are fortunate to have such a committed team of players working on their behalf, Said Foundation communications co-ordinator Briar Boyce. “Last year our County Hospital staff managed over 40,000 visits. Thanks to our donors, including the Wellington Over 50 Hockey Group, our dedicated medical team continues to have access to the equipment and tools they need to be able to provide you and your loved ones with the care you need, close to home. Community support is so important because medical equipment is not paid for the government. These kinds of donations are the only way we are able to provide our caregivers with the critical tools they need.”