NHL announces US$33,800 donation
for Thailand tsunami charity game
BANKGOK, Thailand (AP)
The National Hockey League came to the aid of tsunami victims in Thailand
on Tuesday, announcing a US$33,800 (euro26,000) donation for a charity
hockey game put on by Bangkok-based players.
In a game billed as "Canada vs. The World," a team of players
from the United States, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Japan and Thailand defeated
a Canadian squad 7-6, with the NHL donating US$2,600 (euro2,000) for each
"We've played a lot of hockey here for more than 10 years, but this
is the team's proudest moment," said Bangkok Flying Farangs defenceman
Kevin Hall, who spearheads team fund-raising efforts each year.
"Farang" is the Thai word for "foreigner." Players
from the Farangs and the Thai-World Hockey League scrambled to put the
event together to aid the Red Cross Thailand's efforts to help thousands
of survivors in the country's tsunami-devastated south. A capacity crowd
of 700 from all over the world attended Sunday night's game at Bangkok's
Central World Plaza rink, and donated an estimated US$5,000 (euro3,800)
at the door.
Five of the Farangs did volunteer work after the Dec. 26 disaster, retrieving
bodies, meeting grief-stricken relatives, and helping in the identification
process. Goaltender Greg Jones, who was vacationing in the south, and
left-winger Jeff Lamantia, who lives there, barely escaped the tsunami
with their lives. They sped away in their vehicles as it roared into shore.
Thailand's Vanchalerm "Top" Rattapong scored a hat-trick for
"The World" team on Sunday. "I heard the NHL was going
to donate cash for goals, and I knew what I had to do for my people,"
said Vanchalerm, who had also volunteered to carry corpses.
Family, friends, and hockey fans in North America and Europe were asked
to donate through a bank account set up by the Canadian Embassy. Hall,
a Canadian from Nova Scotia, said that with the NHL's contribution and
others from back home, the team's should surpass its goal of raising US$50,000
Canadians Kevin Hall and Neil Parkin pose for their
The Thais on the World Team get into the spirit of