The Scotiabank Saddledome is set to welcome hundreds of members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for the tenth annual Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night on Jan. 11 as the Calgary Flames take on the San Jose Sharks.
Marking the tenth consecutive year of this tradition, the Flames will host over 550 members of the CAF, veterans, and their families. CAF Appreciation night will especially recognize local Calgarian reservists.
The guests are recognized during the game and then have the opportunity to meet Flames forward Joe Colborne post-game. They are also welcomed to check out the team’s locker room.
“It’s obviously something that I hold pretty close to my heart. I just think the sacrifices that our military makes are so incredible and they don’t receive anywhere near enough credit for what they do. They’re the real heroes out there and the ones who deserve to be getting the fanfare and everything like that,” said Colborne in a Calgary Flames news release.
The night especially strikes a chord with Colborne, who has purchased season tickets for CAF members to attend every Flames home game, in an initiative known as Colborne’s Forces.
“Just to see them standing there and you can see some of them getting emotional…they’re not used to that. We score a goal and everyone’s cheering for you. They don’t get that opportunity. They go out and do their jobs. They’re in Afghanistan or overseas somewhere. They don’t have a single person cheering them on. It’s all on them. It’s nice for them to finally get a chance to appreciate what they do. It’s always nice to hear too that fans are going up and buying them a beer or shaking their hand and thanking them when they see them on the concourse. That means a lot to me,” said Colborne in the news story.
Attendees can purchase “Support Our Troops” merchandise at the game, and the Flames will also be selling commemorative Reebok Calgary Flames military caps. All proceeds will go to “Support Our Troops.”
The Flames Foundation will also donate a portion of the proceeds from the 50/50 sales to the Military Families Fund.