January 14, 2014 (WOLFVILLE, N.S.) - For nearly 20 years, the Acadia football team has taken on the elements to canvass the Wolfville, N.S. community of 4,500 along with Acadia University's campus to collect donations for the Alzheimer's Society of Nova Scotia.
Over the years, the annual ritual has taken place despite storms and freezing temperatures, and this year's campaign was no exception. Football team members trudged through a snow storm to collect over $7,500 for the cause.
Defensive coordinator for the Axemen Shad McLachlan, who spearheads the evening, indicated that they get 100 per cent commitment from all football team members and coaching staff. "It is an event that they look forward to participating in each year," he said. "The players really get excited about this event, and they do a fantastic job."
McLachlan, who hails from Torrance, Cali. and played football at Acadia, was a part of the event as a player and knows the importance of the team's efforts.
"You don't have to look to far to find people all over the country who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and our team and Acadia community is no different," said McLachlan. "Personally, my grandmother had Alzheimer’s and spent the last years of her life in a nursing home. We have numerous families within our team and coaching staff that have experienced and are currently dealing with loved ones who have been stricken by this disease."
The motivation to help during the "Forget Me Not" January Alzheimer Society campaign began in 1997 when former head coach Sonny Wolfe responded to a request from the Nova Scotia Society to assist in their fundraising efforts. It continues to be a passion of the Axemen football team today.
"Any time we can give back to the local community and to the province as a whole is something that we take pride in as a team," added McLachlan. "If one night of hitting the streets for a great cause can help in any way, that is motivation enough."
The Acadia football team has now raised nearly $100,000 over an 18-year period. Last February, McLachlan and head coach Jeff Cummins were both recognized by the Alzheimer’s Society at its research breakfast hosted near the Acadia campus.
Source: Acadia Sports Information