Flint, Michigan has been at the centre of attention this week after President Obama declared a state of emergency in the region due to a large concentration of lead found in the water supply.
But for the Flint Firebirds, the day-to-day operation of the club remains “business as usual,” according to team spokesperson Dominic Hennig.
“The water in our building (the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center) has been tested twice, and our water remains at an incredibly safe level,” said Hennig.
“We’re doing fine and not effected at all.”
The Flint Firebirds are located Genesee County, not inner-city Flint, that has been hit the worst by the water contamination.
“All our players live outside the inner-city, and their billet houses aren’t effected by the water crisis,” said Hennig.
It’s The Humanity That Counts
While the Flint Firebirds aren’t effected by the contamination, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t involved.
Earlier today the Firebirds showed their continued support for their community by donating $16,500 to the Old Newsboys of Flint, which serves underprivileged children in the community, and the donation couldn’t have come at a better time.
Today the Firebirds presented a $16,500 check to the Old Newsboys of Flint to support the Flint community. pic.twitter.com/rCz1wFg7AP
— Flint Firebirds (@FlintFirebirds) January 22, 2016
But the water crisis isn’t new news to anyone who lives in Flint, which is why the Firebirds have been collecting cases of water bottles since October. To date, they’ve raised over 700 cases of water, which have been distributed around the city of Flint.
In their inaugural season in Flint, the team has raised over $50,000 for various charities and organizations in the Flint area.
“We’re here in Flint, and want to help our community. We hope this shows that the OHL is the real deal and has a high quality of not only play, but also community support,” said Hennig.
“It’s the humanity that counts.”
Rivals Supporting One and Other
Tomorrow night the Firebirds face-off against the Windsor Spitfires in a West Division showoff.
But today, both organizations are supporting each other and the Flint community. The Spitfires have collected roughly 50,000 water bottles in response to the crisis just 100-kilometres away from Windsor.
Two tractor trailers will be traveling with the Spitfires on their way to Flint in time for Saturday’s game.
— Windsor Spitfires (@SpitsHockey) January 22, 2016
Business As Usual
Hennig told The Hockey Writers “Nothing at all changes for tomorrow’s game. We already provide three cases of water to the visiting team, and have many more cases in our storage room should the need arise.”
“But players are using the fountain and conducting themselves as usual as our facilities water is perfectly clean.”
Ben Smith covers the CHL for The Hockey Writers. He also writes for HockeyNow Magazine, FlamesNation and SB Nation.