Bourque excited to be a part of Kinsmen-Raider Sportsman Banquet

Photo from Wikicommons. Former Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche defenceman Ray Bourque will be the guest speaker at the Kinsmen Sports Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 22.

The Kinsmen-Raider Sportsman Banquet is less than a week away, and there is plenty of excitement from all those involved, including guest speaker and Hockey Hall Of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque.

In his long and decorated playing career, Bourque served as longtime captain of the Boston Bruins, winning the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman five times. He finished his career as the all-time points leader among defenseman and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

Bourque says he is looking forward to being a part of the banquet because of the many causes the money has gone towards each year.

“Every year is something different. To be able to do that and for as many years as they’ve done it, it says a lot about the people that are involved and in charge and the people that support this. I’m all for raising money and doing good things, and the Kinsmen certainly do this. To be there in Prince Albert, it will be a lot of fun and I look forward to spending a special night there.”

The funds raised by this year’s Sportsman Banquet will benefit both Prince Albert Minor Baseball’s Grand Slam rebuild project to renovate baseball diamonds within the city and the Raiders education fund.

Bourque says he supports both causes that the funds are being raised for.

“I am an avid baseball fan and I was an avid baseball player. To get those fields into great conditions and to make it fun to enjoy a great sport will be something that will benefit many young kids.”

Giving back to the community is nothing new to Bourque. He says it was a huge part of being a player in the NHL.

“From the beginning, the Bruins were always involved in giving back and being part of the community. Then as you keep playing every year, it continues. But then, you’re asked to do a lot of different things with charity events and raising money and trying to make a difference.”

Since his retirement, the entire Bourque family has been making a difference. The Bourque Family Foundation was founded following Ray’s retirement from the NHL.

Bourque says the formation of the foundation was a no-brainer for the family.

“For us, it really made sense to come together as a family and decide to have our own charity. We have three events a year where we have a road race and walk, we have  a golf tournament and a ball. All our event proceeds kind of went to different charities where the board decided where it went.”

Three weeks ago, the Bourque Family Foundation held their annual ball and gala with the proceeds going towards the memory of a close family friend Pete Frates who passed away from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Bourque says Frates was a huge part of raising funds for ALS

“We had a special relationship with the Frates’. Pete Frates passed away from ALS. He was one of the ones that had a big part in creating the ice bucket challenge to raise amazing funds for ALS. Once Pete passed, my wife and I decided to have our ball and gala in memory of Pete that had such an impact on ALS.”

The ball and gala raised nearly $125,000 dollars. Those funds will be donated to the Healey Centre For ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The 2022 Kinsmen-Raider Sportsman Banquet is set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Ches Leach Lounge in the Art Hauser Centre.