HANCOCK, Mich. (WJMN) – Dan Rouleau coached hockey at Hancock High School for 25 years, now the community is banding together to help with his medical costs.
Rouleau was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 11 years ago at the age of 46. Friend, volunteer for Hancock High School Hockey and organizer of the event, Annette Tchida, says Rouleau recently had two surgeries to place electrodes in his brain for stimulation to help control his symptoms.
Tchida says people can donate to the cause in a gofundme campaign, by sending a check to Tchida or by participating in a virtual silent auction. The silent auction items will also be at the Hancock High School Hockey game but the general public will not be able to attend because the only people allowed into the hockey arena are the athlete’s allowed number of spectators.
“You can see some of the auction items on there, some of the stuff is some really really good stuff that I’ve gotten from friends that work with NHL teams,” said Tchida. “So there’s some really nice jerseys autographed, there’s sticks so we put the top quality stuff that is on the event page and then we are also going to be doing a 50/50 inside the rink which the fans that are allowed to be in there will be able to do that.”
To contact Tchida to make a donation you can reach her by phone call or text at (906)-370-8097.
“I never thought it would be this overwhelming of support the community in itself, we all know that living in a small town and hockey people are the best people that support each other, but I never realized that people are getting my number, they’re texting me,” said Tchida. “They’re getting ahold of me and they’re people that I haven’t talked to or don’t even know but some of these people I haven’t seen or talked to them in 20+ years and they’re not only asking me for the address to send me a donation they’re telling me like stories of about Dan or they’re telling me what a great coach he was.”
Rouleau started as the assistant hockey coach and eventually made his way into the head coach position. Tchida says he didn’t just coach his team in hockey but was there for them through anything in life.
“It wasn’t all about hockey, it was about being their friend and if they had any problems he always would be there for them,” said Tchida.
Tchida says they are very thankful for all the people that have donated or helped volunteer and organize the fundraising.
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