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A Hero's Welcome

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It was a day many people in the Parkland had circled on their calendars once it was announced that Stanley Cup champion Barry Trotz would be bringing hockey’s holy grail to the City of Sunshine.
Aug. 22 was a busy day for Trotz and his family as he was allowed just 15 hours with the Cup. But the honours bestowed upon Trotz began Tuesday night when the city honoured him by renaming the 200 block of 5th Ave. SE Barry Trotz Way.
Once the Stanley Cup arrived Wednesday morning, the day began with visits to the Dauphin Regional Health Centre, local care homes and the Dauphin Fire Department, before a parade through the streets of the city.
Then it was inside Credit Union Place to meet the throngs of people who lined up for hours for a chance to meet Trotz and get their picture taken with him and Lord Stanley’s Mug.
Prior to that, Dauphin Mayor Al Dowhan read a proclamation on behalf of Dauphin city council, declaring Aug. 22 as Barry Trotz Day.
Then it was time to face the masses, many of whom were thrilled with meeting and getting their picture taken with Trotz and the Stanley Cup.
Fans were also able to get in on some raffles, a 50-50 draw and hotdog sale.
For Trotz, it meant being able to give back to his hometown.
“It meant touching the community, some of the areas where we felt we might be able to bring some joy to. And I think we were able to do that,” he said.
Trotz was blown away by the parade and by the number of people that showed up to see the Cup and to help raise money for the community.
Many had to wait for hours for their chance to meet Trotz, but due to time constraints, not everyone was able to get in. So Trotz took the Cup to them, parading it through the parking lot, allowing those still waiting to see the Cup.
Then it was off to a final meet and greet with the public, before a more private gathering with close friends and family.
“The goal was to get it to people that couldn’t see it and couldn’t get to it. Let people see it at the parade. Let people come and touch it and get pictures with it here. And I was blown away by the number of people,” he said.
Being able to touch so many people was great, Trotz said, adding it is something that gives him energy.
“I was probably better in the last hour than I was in my first hour. There’s good, positive energy and if you have good, positive energy, which this town has, especially today, it just rubs off,” he said.
The day was organized by family and friends and Trotz was impressed by the job they did.
“I don’t have the words to thank them,” he said.
One of those organizers, Whitney Odut, said they were expecting anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 people. But the crowds were estimated to be between 4,000 and 5,000 people, if not more.
“No clue. All I know is we were like, ‘wow’, and overly amazed by the turnout. It was incredible,” she said.
Between 35 and 40 tickets were sold for the meet and greet at $1,000 per person.
Odut offered her thanks to all the volunteers who helped out throughout the day.
“There was a lot of people there helping out with the barbecue and 50-50 and everything that made it run very smoothly,” she said.
Donations are still trickling in, so how much money was raised will not be known until sometime this week. Trotz will match funds raised up to $75,000 and the money will be donated back to the community.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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