Red Deer Rebel winger Josh Tarzwell signs a hockey stick for Charlie Swartz. Tarzwell was spreading some joy while delivering groceries from Save-On-Foods to a family on Garrison Circle on Monday. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Delivering groceries with some cheer: Save-On-Foods and Rebels partner in Red Deer

Red Deer Rebel team members delivered groceries to a shopper in a safe fashion Monday, along with some cheer.

Families on Garrison Circle, while practising social distancing, gathered when the Save-On-Foods delivery for the Vanderwater family arrived, along with a bit of entertainment from Woolly Bully, the Rebels’ mascot.

The team is missing playing hockey, as well as the social interaction that goes with the sport, because of the ongoing pandemic restrictions, so they partnered with Save-On-Foods in Red Deer north to deliver groceries.

Josh Tarzwell, a left winger for the team, said he has been working out in his basement and spending time with his pooch.

“People come out and support us every night, so now we support them too,” said Tarzwell.

“It’s nice to get out and see these faces and meet the people who cheer us on every night, and it feels good too.”

Tarzwell, while social distancing, signed the hockey sticks of the neighbourbood kids, while parents took photos.

Dean Williams, vice-president of marketing and sales with the Rebels, said the team is missing the sport, just like many Red Deerians.

“Save-On-Foods is one of our partners throughout the year, and they have online grocery ordering and delivery service, and we’ve been looking for ways we can help,” said Williams.

Prior to COVID-19, the team would visit schools and organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer to volunteer, as well as engage with central Albertans.

“A lot of people are missing hockey and sports in general, and the social interaction. And we miss our fans and the games too, so to be able to do something like this, it’s not hockey, but it’s still getting out there and meeting our fans,” said Williams.

Ernie Cordonier, Red Deer north Save-On-Foods store manager, said the event was all about the team, and the store wanted to give them a platform to keep up with community engagements.

“It’s an opportunity for us to bring awareness that Rebels are a community-involved organization and this was one of the logical ways we could make that happen in a responsible fashion,” explained Cordonier.

Save-On-Foods delivers groceries to shoppers in Red Deer and Blackfalds for a fee following curbside pickup rules. The grocer also has a pickup service, free of charge.

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