By Josh Howald
At times over the years, it may have seemed like Doug Kennedy lived at the Davidson Centre arena. So it’s only fitting that a fundraising party in his honour take place at the rink.
Kennedy, a popular, community-minded individual, is currently undergoing cancer treatment in London.
He admitted Monday afternoon that he wasn’t feeling the greatest, but remained optimistic. He was at home in Kincardine, but was preparing to make the trip to London, where he was going to stay the rest of this week. He initially planned on driving back and forth during treatment, but that proved to be too much for him.
“I have seven treatments left,” he said. “I’m off to take care of this one, then they want to take four or five weeks off to see how things look, then it’s back at it again.”
Ron Boulton, a longtime friend of Kennedy and a co-worker at Pierson’s, said last Tuesday a group had met last Monday night to discuss ideas for the Oct. 12 event.
Minor hockey has agreed to move ice times that would see a day of minor hockey games between Kincardine Minor Hockey Association teams and the Saugeen Shores Minor Hockey Association.
“A Bulldog alumni game of some sort would be played at night, and something involving the KDSS hockey teams as well,” said Boulton, who added the hall would be open all afternoon with music and a beer garden happening.
“Then at night we would have some sort of live entertainment and a dance, which would likely be admission by donation at the door. We don’t have all the details yet, but we’re starting to get there.”
Whatever the plan is, it is almost certain to be success. Kennedy is a former Citizen of the Year, the General Manager of the Nicol Insurance Kincardine Junior C Bulldogs and the coach of the Kincardine District Secondary School boys hockey team. He has served on numerous recreation boards and committees over the years. A native of St. Mary’s, he was coaching the Hanover Barons when he moved to Kincardine in the mid-1980s to operate the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in town. He coached nearly every age group of minor hockey, and was instrumental in bringing Junior C hockey to town 20 years ago. If you played sports in this town at all, you have met Kennedy. His KFC franchise was once named the best KFC in Canada, but he eventually chased his dream of owning a sports bar. He opened the Crabby Joe’s franchise in Kincardine, but that failed to work out for him for a number of reasons. Since then, he has sold used cars at Pierson’s and has since opened Two Guys Fries, the fry bus on Pierson’s lot.
It has been a trying few weeks for Cathy. Her father Jack Pym – a legendary veteran and beloved figure in Kincardine – died. The following weekend, her son Jeff Alcombrack, head coach of the Junior C Bulldogs, was playing slo-pitch when a hard ground ball took a bad hop and struck him in the face, breaking his jaw.
“There’s no doubt that (the fundraiser) will be a success,” said Boulton. “Everybody knows Doug and wants the best for him, and I’m sure they will want to be a part of it.”