Aces’ Idol raises money for We’ve Got Your Back

St. Stephen – It turns out when the St. Stephen Aces and the We’ve Got Your Back organization pair up, some magical things happen (we’re looking at you Ryan MacDonald and Thomas Leggett!).

The first ever Aces’ Idol was held last Friday at the Garcelon Civic Center in support of the We’ve Got Your Back Foundation Inc.

It was a sold out show featuring Aces players as you’ve likely never seen them before – singing, lip syncing, donning tutus and fairy wings – doing their best ribbon dance (MacDonald and Leggett nailed it), all for a good cause.

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Aces assistant coach Eric Neilson emceed the event, and local businessman David Humphreys acted as auctioneer.

Heather Bell-Williams, a We’ve Got Your Back board member, said in the vicinity of $8,000 was raised from the event.

“It exceeded our wildest expectations.”

The non-profit organization provides food to needy school-age children for weekends. In the greater St. Stephen area, approximately 60 families each week receive groceries from the organization.

Since its 2010 inception in St. Stephen, the program has expanded into separate We’ve Got Your Back organizations in McAdam, Blacks Harbour, and St. George.

A week prior to the idol event, tickets were sold out at 180 seats.

Bell-Williams said the idea for Aces’ idol started in the fall, when one of the coaches became aware of the program, and asked how the Aces could help.

After discussions and the “whole hearted approval” from the Aces’ board of executives, the event was born.

Bell-Williams said items for the event were donated by community businesses and individuals – including the trophy for the winner, which was created by Spree owner Kristan Cloney.

“I used to work with her – I went to her and said ‘OK, we’ve got this idea and we think it might be a regular event, will you create us a crazy trophy?’ Bell-Williams said with a laugh.

“And she did; it’s wonderful. She did an incredible job.”

“IT EXCEEDED OUR WILDEST EXPECTATIONS.” – HEATHER BELL-WILLIAMS, WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK BOARD MEMBER

And the first ever Aces’ Idol winner?

Goalie Jack Grant for his moving, lip synced performance of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

The Bank of Nova Scotia matched the amount raised from ticket sales. After the spaghetti dinner, there was a dessert auction, which raised $1,600. The winner of Aces’ Idol was determined on the act which received the most monetary tips. A total of $1,300 was raised on tips by the acts, with Grant as the clear winner – his act received $499 in tips.

Bell-Williams said she wished to acknowledge the great deal of support from the Aces organization.

“We want to give a huge shout out from us to the Aces – to the players, coaches and board.”

Bell-Williams said with the overwhelming support the event received, the plan is to make it an annual event.

“It turned out to be one of those things that was really successful – it will become an annual event.

“It really was a lot of fun. I know a lot of the players initially were worried about it, but it turned into a great evening. After (the players) nerves got settled, it was a ton of fun.”

Photo submitted
Ryan MacDonald (left) and Thomas Leggett of the St. Stephen Aces donned tutus and pink fairy wings, and danced to “Every Time We Touch” to help raise money for the We’ve Got Your Back Foundation Inc.