Tom Baker, a resident of West Park Retirement Lodge, had the opportunity to hold the Grey Cup as part of the second annual Operation Tea Cup. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Grey Cup was in Red Deer to support military families

Money raised will go towards the Military Family Resource Centre

It was an exciting morning at West Park Retirement Lodge as the Grey Cup made an appearance for the second annual Operation Tea Cup, which usually includes a golf tournament and private party to raise awareness for the Canadian Forces.

The golf tournament was cancelled due to the weather, but on Sept. 21st $20,000 was presented to the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), with the private party held at West Park Retirement Lodge, the residence of Tom Baker, a 94-year-old WWII veteran. He was just 16 when he joined the 14th Canadian Armoured Regiment –1st Canadian Tank Brigade. Baker was part of the landing force at Dieppe Aug. 19th, 1942.

Although based in Calgary, the MFRC has satellite offices in both Red Deer and Lethbridge, and the money raised from sponsors and organizers of the golf tournament Michelle Tetreault and Charles MacDonald, stays in Red Deer.

“It’s an honour to be able to present this cheque today with Michelle Tetreault to the Military Family Resource Centre. It’s the second time that we’ve undertook this fundraising imitative in Red Deer,” said MacDonald.

To be part of the Tea Cup, the Grey Cup was at the West Park Retirement Lodge with Jeff McWhinney, keeper of the cup, for everybody to pose and take photos with. It was delivered by a light armoured vehicle and escorted by members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Gord Young, executive director of MFRC, said the resource centre is to help support and take care of families.

“We do that through a number of events that we hold throughout the year, whether it’s at Christmas or activities that are to bring the families together to socialize,” said Young.

He added that this year’s focus is on health and wellness programs.

“We run a retreat every year to deal with people that have PTSD – for them and their spouse, because it’s a family issue and the family is needed to recover.”

He said they also offer clinical support, family counselling and a variety of activities for children and youth.

“It’s so nice to see the local community support its own local military.”

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