NEWS

Rocket auction aids shooting victims' funeral costs

01/02/2012 11:00 EST | Updated 03/03/2012 05:12 EST

The PEI Rocket hockey team is holding an online auction to help cover the funeral costs of the two young Charlottetown men who died in an Alberta murder-suicide last month.

Most of the money raised will help the families pay for the headstones of Mitch MacLean, 22, and Tanner Craswell, 21, two of four people shot and killed on the side of a highway near Claresholm, Alta., Dec. 15.

"Losing their sons, it's tragic enough. They certainly shouldn't have to assume any of the expenses that go with it," said Trent Birt, the Rocket's vice-president of operations.

"And the Island community being the way it is, we always rally around people."

Individuals have already bid over $3,000 on the hockey items, said Birt.

Items were donated by the Rocket and NHL hockey teams and include a Rocket corporate suite, an autographed Ottawa Senators jersey and a pair of Buffalo Sabres tickets.

The auction closes on Jan. 14th.

Lethbridge memorial service

In Lethbridge, Alta., the manager of the Lethbridge Bulls baseball team has confirmed a memorial service will be held in that city for Craswell and MacLean, who played for the team.

The service will be held at the Enmax Centre on Jan. 14 at 3:00 p.m.

The memorial will also recognize the death of the other victim Tabitha Stepple and celebrate the survival of Shayna Conway from P.E.I., who is still recovering in a Calgary hospital.

The service will be livestreamed on the internet because organizers said it's important to share with people in P.E.I. and former teammates scattered around North America.

Commemorative wristbands will be sold at the memorial service. They are white and red, inscribed with baseballs surrounding the initials "R.I.P. T.C. & M.M." on the outside. A message on the inside of the band reads: "Angels in the Infield -- Never Forgotten."

The wristbands will soon be available in P.E.I.

Proceeds from wristband sales will go to a memorial fund for future baseball opportunities with an emphasis on players from the Maritimes.

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