Wranglers captain Justin Bond debuts the new ‘wildfire jersey’ the Junior B hockey team will be wearing in tribute to the firefighters and organizations that helped the Cariboo through the devastating summer wildfire season. Tara Sprickerhoff photo.

Wranglers wear wildfire jerseys in tribute to firefighters, aid organizations

Jerseys will be auctioned off at the end of October

The past summer will be one forever remembered by residents of the Cariboo.

Wildfires raged the entire summer disrupting our lives, livelihood and of course our property.

Everything so near and dear to us was threatened by the fires. Many groups and organizations helped in our time of need and so, for the month of October, your Wranglers will be wearing what we have dubbed ‘wildfire jerseys.’

The idea is simple. We want to pay tribute to the men and women that rallied together to keep us safe, protect our homes and businesses and everything we love about a Cariboo lifestyle.

The jerseys appear to have a red coating over our existing jersey representing the colours of the brave men and women on the front line of the fire. Our logo has been replaced with the Red Cross and a B.C. Forest Service logo. These are by far, the two organizations that did the most for our community.

Embedded in the red of the jersey, on the front, the names of the fires that raged through our communities. We wear them as a badge of honour that we survived them all.

Embedded on the back are the names of the communities and towns threatened by those wildfires.

We proudly carry our friends and neighbours on our backs. On the sleeves, the District of 100 Mile House, the Cariboo Regional District, the provincial flag and the Canadian flag.

We want to thank the district, regional district and Donna Barnett, on behalf of the B.C. Liberal Party, for helping purchase these jerseys.

You will notice the Wrangler head is in the hip pocket for the month and we are proud to wear our friends’ badges.

Finally, on the collar are the words ‘Cariboo strong.’ Yes, we are.

These jerseys are but a symbol of joy, togetherness and healing of all our communities and we are so very proud to be a part of the healing process.

The jerseys will be available at the end of October. See the Wrangler Room people for more information.

Tom Bachynski is the 100 Mile House Wranglers Junior B Hockey Club president.

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