About one year after Sean “Chauncey” Corrigal died by suicide, friends and family stepped onto an outdoor ice rink in Red Deer to raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Alberta division.
This Saturday, dozens of hockey players took part in the first-ever Chauncey Classic at the Oriole Park outdoor ice rink in honour of Corrigal, who passed away Jan. 5.
“Sean was very loved. That’s the bitter-sweet part of this event,” said Joe Chodzicki, one of the organizers and a longtime friend of Corrigal.
“The week before (he passed away), I didn’t even realize what was happening. You can never really tell. We want to bring discussions about mental health out into the open. We want people to feel free to talk about it.”
Chodzicki said the Chauncey Classic came together when Corrigal’s mother Norma approached Leah Beston, owner of Leah’s Bar and Grill, where Chodzicki works, and proposed a charity hockey game in honour Corrigal.
“I just want to thank everyone for coming out and showing their support. This is beyond what we expected,” he said.
“We’ll probably be going at it for three hours on the ice today.”
All proceeds from the game go towards the Alberta Mental Health Association. Following the game, players were invited to head over to Leah’s Bar and Grill for music, snacks, a 50/50 draw and prizes.
Corrigal was just 36 years old when he passed away.
“He was a devoted family man who loved his family deeply, including his dog Cali,” his obituary states.
“Sean had a huge heart and was very protective of those he loved. He had a great sense of humour and was always the life of the party.”
For more than 60 years in Alberta, the Canadian Mental Health Association has focused on recovery and support for Albertans impacted by mental illness. For more information on the organization, visit alberta.cmha.ca.