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Matt Fraser recognized for commitment to health care

By STAFF WRITER
March 21, 2011 · 10:18 AM
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Kootenay Ice forward Matt Fraser is presented with a Starlite collage by East Kootenay Foundation for Health Executive Director Donna Grainger, board chair Linda Berukoff and Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth. / Chris Pullen / Cranbrook Photo

At a recent home game, Matt Fraser of the Kootenay Ice was presented with a uniquely designed Starlite collage recognizing his outstanding efforts and leadership in raising $19,381 for the East Kootenay Foundation for Health in the 2009 and 2010 annual Starlite campaigns.

In 2009, the likeable left-winger encouraged fellow teammates, Ice fans and others to aim for raising $5,000 to go toward the purchase of a $54,000 cancer node biopsy probe for the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.

When the dust settled, the fans, friends and families, the community and many others got behind Matt’s dream, donating over $14,100 in gifts dedicated to the project and the lighting of two stars.

Even bigger news was yet to follow when Matt was presented with the prestigious 2009 WHL Humanitarian Award and the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy for his work with the Starlite Campaign for Excellence in Health Care.

This year, the task was to aim for lighting one star with donations allocated to seniors recreational programs offered at various Interior Health facilities. During the November launch, star number 4, the Matt Fraser Kootenay Ice star, was lit thanks to the $5,269 in gifts donated by generous Fraser fans.

“As part of the work we do here at EKFH, we try to encourage individuals and organizations to leave a legacy. There is no doubt in my mind that what started out as an idea to perhaps donate a wheelchair grew into a fabulous legacy of a compassionate individual.  Not only did Matt encourage others to give and raise substantial funds for two great causes, he inspired a new generation of activities involving donors of all ages that our foundation had never witnessed before.  It has been an absolute honour and pleasure to be associated with Matt and the Kootenay Ice organization,” shares Grainger.

At the completion of his Junior A hockey career, 20-year old Red Deer native Matt Fraser will return home but he can rest assured that he has left an indelible mark on health care here in Cranbrook and the East Kootenay.