LOUISDALE: It was a great night at Richmond Arena for a great guy.

“It was overwhelming for me as a coach, and I can only imagine how overwhelming it was for the family,” said Robert MacDonald, coach of the Richmond Hurricane hockey team.

Dropping the puck to usher in the Saturday fundraiser were the siblings of Spencer McNamara, Olivia McNamara and Riley Parker. Taking the faceoff is Richmond captain Thomas MacNeil and Sydney Wildcats’ captain Tytan Donovan.

MacDonald’s high school hockey squad was hosting the Sydney Academy Wildcats for a special exhibition game serving as a fundraiser for Spencer McNamara, a young man currently recovering from a single vehicle automotive collision. McNamara, the son of Troy and Shannon McNamara, is a student-athlete from Richmond Academy, well-known for his efforts with on the ice but also with the hardball and softball teams.

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On September 25, McNamara was involved in single vehicle collision and was transported to Strait-Richmond Hospital. From there, he was airlifted to the QEII in Halifax with life threatening injuries.

The game drew an awfully impressive crowd, especially for a rainy night in early November. A collection took place for McNamara at the door, and funds were also gathered through a bake sale and silent auction.

All told, over $12,000 was raised for the family.

“When tragedy strikes, the community really comes together,” MacDonald said. “We’ve seen it before – more times than we’d like to see tragedy around here – but it’s amazing how everyone pulls together to help each other out.”

MacDonald said a great deal of work and volunteerism went into making the game a reality. Officials volunteered their time, locals prepared baked goods for sale, businesses offered items for auction, and the Richmond Academy hockey committee did a great deal of work. Not only did the Sydney Academy team and parents give for the event, Riverview High School donated money as well, and the same can be said of the Glace Bay Midget As.

Lee Anne Marchand of St. Joseph’s Credit Union and Ronalda Boudreau of the Municipality of the County of Richmond played key roles behind the scenes.

MacDonald coached McNamara for many years, and when asked to describe what sort of guy the student-athlete is, the coach said McNamara is a great kid.

“He’s a real character kid who can really make you laugh,” MacDonald said. “He always has something to say, and he’s a great all around athlete. The guys all respect him.”

MacDonald said he was up to visit his player in Halifax and, though McNamara is in hospital, he’s still showing what he’s made of.

“He’s giving the same effort now that we expected of him on the ice,” MacDonald said, and he urged people to keep Spencer and his family in their prayers. “Keep hoping on him. I know I am.”

With that, MacDonald noted that there’s a GoFundMe page set up to help the McNamara family. It can be found on the GoFundMe site under the name “Support Spencer’s Road to Recovery.”All donations are welcome.

Sydney Academy ended up winning the game 7-5, but MacDonald said the Hurricane hung in tough against a team from a much larger school.