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Battalion taking shifts at the Gathering Place

'It is really amazing'
Dalyn Wakely, Owen Van Steensel and Paul Christopoulos at the Gathering Place for their first volunteeer shift. Photo courtesy Facebook.

It is always a challenging day for volunteers working their first day at the Gathering Place Soup Kitchen in North Bay. 

But this trio of volunteers was different.  

Sporting North Bay Battalion sweaters, Dalyn Wakely, Owen Van Steensel, and Paul Christopoulos masked up and worked their first shift Tuesday.  

The North Bay Battalion initiative is called "Wakes Sakes" by Dalyn Wakely, a program to support the homeless in North Bay and surrounding area

"Throughout November, fans can leave new and gently used coats at the marked box in the Memorial Gardens main concourse with all items donated to The Gathering Place," said Wakely on social media. 

"For the next four months two teammates will be joining me every Tuesday and assisting staff in preparing and delivering meals for the homeless and needy." 

Dennis Chippa, executive director at the North Bay Gathering Place says the initiative means a lot.

"Just the level of profile that the players and the organization have and that they are willing to work with some of the less fortunate and vulnerable populations," he said.

"It is really amazing."

Chippa says the Battalion bunch did a fine job on day one. 

"I was in a meeting when they started serving," he explained.  

"Probably like any new volunteer, they were likely a bit nervous and anxious at first but they handled it like champs." 

Chippa believes bringing in local celebrities like North Bay Battalion players, brings attention and awareness to what is going on. 

"When they approached me about it we made it very clear that this is a whole community effort so it involves collecting coats for anybody including kids and could go out to a place like Big Brothers or Children's Aid or food drives for anybody including other agencies, not just ours."

Adam Dennis, Battalion general manager, was thrilled to find out Dalyn Wakely was willing to lead this special initiative that shows the character within the Battalion room. 

"For us, Dalyn was so great last year doing so many things even in the limited capacity (volunteering)," said Dennis.  

"This year with no restrictions we want to make sure we encourage our gusy to get out. We are a small town community and we feel it is important that we are not just asking people to come to our games, that we are giving back and doing something for them to cheer for." 

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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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