Attack recruits hold online auction to support Woolley’s Warriors


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The Owen Sound Attack Rookie Class is helping Captain Mark Woolley raise money for Diabetes Canada with an online auction to benefit the Woolley Warriors.

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As part of their high school leadership class, recruits organized a fundraiser through DASH auction . The contested items include signed jerseys from NHL player Nicklas Backstrom, Maple Leafs legend Darryl Sittler and Woolley himself.

Offers can also be placed on meetup packages with Woolley and Sittler as well as a pair of tickets for December 9 to see the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Toronto.

The auctions are open until November 30. Those wishing to support Woolley’s Warriors and Diabetes Canada can do so by visiting the Owen Sound Attack or Woolley’s Warrior websites and social media channels, which link to the auction site.

Woolley launched Woolley’s Warriors in 2019. He said he wanted to use his platform as an OHL hockey player to help educate and fund young athletes living with type 1 diabetes.

He helped raise over $ 40,000 during the 2019-20 season. The money raised was used to send children living with type 1 diabetes to Diabetes Canada D camps where campers learn to manage their diabetes with the help of on-site health professionals.

“It goes a long way. It makes you feel normal, in a way, I guess you could say. I know when I was first diagnosed I was afraid to test my blood and everything, ”Woolley said. “It’s one of those things where I think it might help a kid to go in there and realize it’s okay not to be right.”

The St. Thomas native was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. Since then, he has reconciled his life as a diabetic with his life as a high level athlete.

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According to Diabetes Canada, the disease affects 10 percent of the country’s population. It is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. People with type 1 diabetes must constantly work to stay on top. They can live long and healthy lives by taking insulin and keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy target range.

For Woolley, that means tightly controlling his diet and checking his blood sugar while working with the Attack’s training staff to constantly monitor his levels.

“It’s a battle every day. Things may surprise you, ”he said.

Woolley got scared soon after being traded to the Attack. Returning home to celebrate a family birthday, he went to bed without testing his blood count and woke up in an ambulance.

“Things can go south pretty quickly. There are definitely no days off when you have diabetes, that’s for sure, ”he said.

Woolley said he took inspiration from Kincardine’s Garrett McFadden to start Woolley’s Warriors.

McFadden created McFadden’s Movement while playing for the Guelph Storm in 2016 to support mental health. The nonprofit organization works to develop mental health resources in athletes from the local level.

The McFadden Movement has raised over $ 75,000 for mental health resources. Woolley got to see how McFadden was handling the organization as a rookie with the Storm.

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Now, the new Attack recruits are helping Woolley.

“It’s one of the first things I noticed when I was drafted. Everyone wears Woolley’s Warriors shirts. It didn’t take long to realize that this is part of our squad, ”said 2020 first-round pick Cedrick Guindon.

Lorenzo Bonaiuto’s parent Roger Haviland helped find Sittler prizes and Maple Leafs tickets. Bonaiuto said Haviland offered to do so immediately after hearing about the idea, and the recruits are grateful for the help.

All of the team’s recruits in the high school leadership class took on roles in organizing the auction for the Woolley’s Warriors.

“I’m very grateful for this and really proud of them for taking this for a good cause,” said Woolley.

Most of them know someone affected by the disease.

“My sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last winter, so if there’s a chance I can take to help when he leaves Owen Sound, because he won’t be here forever, it is something I would jump all over the place, ”Gavin Bryant mentioned.

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