Brandon Wheat Kings

Brandon, MB. — Members of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings will be busy both on and off the ice on Wednesday as Heart Month officially kicks off in the morning and the 7th Annual Rogers Fan Camp invades Westman Communications Group Place at night.

The Fan Camp Skate with the Wheat Kings will feature four teams and over fifty youngsters. The teams – the Brandon ScotiaMcLeod Predators, the Brandon McDonalds Flames, the Hamiota Novice Huskies and Killarney Novice Stars – were selected from a draw of over one hundred western Manitoba teams that entered this year’s contest.

The teams will be split into several groups and will run through a series of drills and skill events from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Joining them will be members of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, who returned home this past Sunday from a 4-game in five night Central Division tour that saw them go 2-2-0.

The training will be coordinated by Wheat Kings’ assistant coaches Dwayne Gylywoychuk and Darren Ritchie as well as veteran members of the Western Hockey League club including Captain Mark Stone, blueliner Brodie Melnychuk and Calgary Flames draft choice Michael Ferland.

In addition to the on ice training, the future Wheat Kings will receive a poster courtesy of Rogers, an opportunity to meet members of the team; get their autographs and have dinner with their hockey heroes. As well, all of the players will receive complimentary tickets to Brandon’s game against the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Friday, February 24th.

Melnychuk meanwhile will be one of two Wheat Kings helping to kick off Heart Month Wednesday morning at the Heart and Stroke Foundation office, located at Unit 3 824 18th Street. The 20-year old defenceman, who is on the verge of becoming only the eighth player in franchise history to play in 300 games for the Wheat Kings, will be joined by Rene Hunter at the event that will run from 7 – 9:30 a.m.

The two players, who will be joined by Willie the Wheat Kings’ mascot, will be signing autographs from 8 – 9:15 am – so come out, help out a great cause and meet the Wheat Kings!

February is nationally recognized as Heart Month – the month when the Heart and Stroke Foundation celebrates volunteer and donor contributions through events and campaigns, while reminding Manitobans of the risks and warning signs of heart disease and stroke.

Whether it’s time or money you’re able to contribute to the Foundation during Heart Month, they invite you to make a difference and participate. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is a volunteer-based health charity, which relies on over 6,000 canvassers to reach homes across Manitoba to raise vital funds and awareness each year.

For more information on Heart Month, be sure to check out the Heart and Stroke Foundation display at this Friday’s WHL game between the Wheat Kings and Lethbridge Hurricanes at Westman Place. To make an online donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, please visit heartandstroke.mb.ca or call 1-888-473-4636.