- Created: 05 February 2007
The proceeds from the 26th annual Fred Meyer $10,000 Dash for Cash to be held on Saturday, February 17th
when the Winter Hawks host Tri-Cities at 7:30 in Memorial Coliseum will go to the family of local hockey coach Bobby Freeland, who passed away suddenly and surprisingly last summer of a sudden illness that attacked his liver.
A total of 30 randomly selected contestants at the game that night will “dash” for one minute and pocket as many of the 10,000 silver dollars that will be on the ice in the between periods promotion. The leftover money is always donated to a charitable concern, and there is definitely a need with the Freeland family. Paul Gaustad, now of the Buffalo Sabres, a former team captain of the Winter Hawks who played hockey as a kid in the Portland area, is helping to organize the event. Gaustad is also donating some special items for a raffle to be held that night at the game, including a Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins) autographed jersey, a Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers) autographed jersey, a Daniel Briere (Buffalo Sabres) autographed stick, and a Paul Gaustad Buffalo Sabres autographed jersey. Local hockey volunteers will be manning the raffle booth on the Coliseum concourse and selling tickets to all fans in attendance for $10 per ticket, two tickets for $15, or three tickets for $20. Every dollar will go to the Freeland family.
Bobby Freeland is survived by his wife, Sharon, and sons Jake, 3, and Ryan, 1. There were a lot of medical bills that were not covered by insurance and because of the suddenness of Bobby’s illness, there was no life insurance. Shortly after Freeland’s death last summer, the local hockey community came together and raised nearly $30,000 in the “Bobby Game” at Valley Ice Arena that featured most of the local players that were coached by Freeland over his many years. The players donated to the Freeland family in exchange for the honor to play in the game. The “game” turned into a bunch of “games” to accommodate everyone who wanted to donate and play. It was truly an inspirational event. There will be another “Bobby Game” on Saturday June 30 at Valley Ice Arena, one year after Bobby passed away. Anyone interested in volunteering can call Valley Ice Arena at 503-297-2521.
Bobby Freeland was the primary coach that worked with Gaustad on skating and skills development before he joined the Winter Hawks in 1999-2000. He was a big part of the Portland hockey scene since 1976 as a player in the Portland Amateur Hockey Association before playing Division III NCAA College Hockey at St. John’s University. He coached various levels of the Portland Junior Hawks from 1987-2002 and had been the Hockey Director at Valley Ice Arena in Beaverton since 2000. He was a USA Hockey Pacific District Player Evaluator since 1995 and the coach at five USA Hockey Festivals. Freeland was on the Oregon State Hockey Association Board of Directors since 1996, including four years as Vice President. He was the assistant coach of the 2004 Portland Pioneers NOR PAC Junior-B team that won the Cascade Cup Championship. In 2005-06, he took over the Eugene Generals as an expansion team and led them to surprising success, on and off the ice. The Generals came within one game of the NOR PAC Championship and won the most games ever by an expansion team in league history.
For more information:
Chris Bilder, Public Relations/Marketing, Eugene Generals