50.3 F
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rivets for Rusty

By Maddie Smith

Community members far and wide came together to raise over $18,000 for a Western men’s hockey alumnus on Saturday, April 21.

“Rivets for Rusty,” a fundraiser ice hockey tournament, was held at Bellingham Sportsplex to raise money for Andrew “Rusty” Liebel who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in December.

Retired Vancouver Canuck Garth Butcher was among a list of donors for the fundraiser.

Butcher donated signed jerseys, VIP tickets to a Canucks game and dinner in the press box, Debra Bray, the silent auction coordinator, said.

Andrew “Rusty” Liebel poses with teammates during the “Rivets for Rusty” charity event, April 21. // Photo courtesy of Ellie MacDonald.


The Canucks tickets were bid on for thousands of dollars, she said.

The event was organized by Kyle Neal, another Western alumnus who played with Liebel on the hockey team for four years. Both players graduated fall quarter 2017.

Excluding beer sales, Rivets for Rusty has raised a total of over $16,000, all of which will be donated directly to Liebel and his family, Neal said.

The money that was raised will go toward Liebel’s medical bills and the renovation of his house to make it more accessible to him in the future, Neal said.

There was plenty of interest in the tournament from community hockey players. It didn’t take long to get 64 players to fill the rosters of the four teams that played in the tournament, Neal said.

“It’s not a big community, but it’s a really tight community,” Neal said.

Support for the the fundraiser included a beer garden from Aslan Brewery, a silent auction, players from the Western men’s hockey team, community hockey members, El Tapatio taco truck and All Star Design.

Throughout the event, Aslan beer sales and El Tapatio taco truck sales were constant, Neal said.

Billy Holbrook, another Western men’s hockey alumnus who graduated last spring, traveled from Nashville to be at the fundraiser. Holbrook said Liebel is one of his best friends.  The two were responsible for much of the administrative work for the team, Holbrook said.

Holbrook and Liebel said they shared the common goal to “strengthen the program for when we were done.”

Liebel did all of the scheduling for the team, which was no small task, Neal said. Most players do the scheduling for one year and then pass the responsibility on to another player, but Liebel did it all four years, Neal said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Must Read

Behind the systems: WWU Newman Center forced resignation of student employee after learning of same-sex partner

Student says she was told to break up with her girlfriend or quit her job

Behind the systems: Former members frustrated over student’s resignation, double standards for dealing with sexual activity

Former members say rules regarding moral conduct were not applied equally This is...

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Latest News

Survey shows Whatcom County’s small businesses are struggling

Outside of The Shakedown in 2018. // Photo by Lili McMurtrey By...

Mental health and the COVID conundrum

People living with mood disorders may find it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Social distancing due to...

Mix drink to-go kits are the top buy at La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza

A pizza and Moscow Mule mixing kit from La Fiamma Pizza, who are conducting carry-out services. Displayed on the deck of...

Western professors’ recommended reads

By Macy Adkinson For those seeking adventure in a time of uncertainty, recreational reading...

Bellingham mask sewing effort continues with Molly’s Sewing Machine Service

Sewing machine repairwoman and seamstress Molly Chambers in her downtown Bellingham studio. // Photo courtesy of Molly’s Sewing Machine Service

More Articles Like This