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The Well Church Takes on Detroit Red Wings Alums in Charity Hockey Game

The Fourth Annual Hockey Night in Brighton will be held Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Kensington Valley Ice House.

On Saturday night, 17 Livingston County men will strap on their skates and test their puck skills against Detroit Red Wings Alumni members for the fourth annual Hockey Night in Brighton.

The men are members of The Well Church in Brighton and the event began as a way to be involved with the community and raise money for local charities. 

This year, the money raised will go to benefit Livingston County Shop with a Cop, The ARC of Livingston and new this year, Stiggy's Dogs.

"We really wanted to get involved with a veterans organization and we had been hearing lots of great things about Stiggy's Dogs," Scott DesAutel, the event organizer, said. "They rehabilitate rescue dogs and pair them up with veterans that have come back from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and train them together. They train the dog into a psychiatric leader dog for the veteran."

Last year, the event raised a little more than $12,000. DesAutel said his goal this year to reach the $20,000 level.

The Well team will have 15 skaters and two goalies. DesAutel was not sure which former Red Wings his team would be skating against, but said invitations were out to Chris Osgood, Kris Draper and Joe Kocur. 

"We never win," DesAutel said laughing. "The Wings - it's amazing how well they play and their skill level is far beyond ours. It's a fun day. It's all about raising the money. I love the sport, I've played it all my life, but it's just a tool to raise awareness for the three organizations more than anything."

New to the event this year will be three trophies sent from The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto: the James Norris Memorial Trophy, the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy. A photographer will be set up near the trophies allowing people to get their pictures taken with them for free at the event. However, they will except donations for the photos. 

"It's kind of rare," DesAutel said. "Those trophies hardly ever leave the Toronto area. And they all have really strong Red Wings ties."

The game will be held at Kensington Valley Ice House at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $40 for VIP, which includes a post game party with live music and an auction at the American Spirit Center.

"We have some great auction items," DesAutel said. "With the hockey lockout going on earlier this year, it was really tough for some of the hockey manufacturers to support us this year. But we were able to claw and scrape and get some things together."

They can be purchased at www.thewellmi.com or by contacting Scott DesAutel at (248) 515-3864.

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