Peter Selig, left, presents Peter Morse of West Kings the John MacAskill Award as VHSHL Coach of the Year for 2012-2013.
BERWICK - The community is rallying behind a well-loved West Kings teacher seriously injured in a head-on collision in December.
Peter Morse, 30, is facing a lengthy – and costly – recovery period after the Dec. 15 crash. His friends are teaming up to raise funds to help offset the unexpected financial burden on Morse and his family.
Credit Union Centre arena manager Wayne Fowler and Kings Mutual Century Centre manager Bob Best are helping to plan a benefit hockey game in Berwick Feb. 21, featuring the boys' hockey teams from West Kings and Central Kings.
“We're looking to fill the arena,” Best said.
Fowler described his longtime friend as an “avid volunteer,” who has served on the board of directors for the Western Kings Arena and was instrumental in the fundraising for the improvements.
Morse, who teaches the Options and Opportunities course at West Kings, also coached the hockey team.
“He's helped a lot of young people find their way through both of those things,” Fowler said.
At the time the collision happened, Fowler said, Morse was on his way home from volunteering late at the school.
“He had several broken bones, head and back injuries, and frankly, is lucky to be alive,” Fowler said.
“(Morse) is facing a long road to full recovery, and there are always unforeseen costs that maybe aren't covered by a medical plan. It's sad that someone who gives as much as Peter does is in this position.”
That’s when Fowler set the wheels in motion for a fundraiser.
“The community has really gotten behind this,” he added.
“(The Morse family) hasn't asked for this. They're not asking, we're offering.”
All the proceeds from the event will go toward the ongoing expenses of the Morse family. The event is planned as “an all-round fun afternoon to celebrate community and get the community behind Peter and his family.”
The live and silent auctions will include some NHL and Halifax Mooseheads memorabilia, as well as local donations.
Fowler said Jan. 28 he was not surprised at the amount of support shown to date. “The Valley is a special place. The people are very generous and willing to help out,” he said.
He was especially pleased to see the response from the students.
“It's pretty inspiring to see how the kids are getting behind this. It's a good character thing for them to be involved. There are some good life lessons to be learned.”
If you go: A benefit hockey game being organized to offset some of the on-going medical expenses of West Kings teacher and coach Peter Morse will be held Feb. 21 at 3:15 p.m. at the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick. It is hoped the event, which will include live and silent auctions as well as a boys’ high school game between West Kings and Central Kings, will be a sellout. The exhibition game has no points in the standings at stake. Any donation cheques should be made out to Alice Morse, Peter Morse’s wife.