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Community fundraiser helps ailing North Bay hockey volunteer return home


The hockey community in North Bay has stepped up for a long-time hockey volunteer dealing with health issues.

Willie Cowie lost his left leg to diabetes and has been recovering in the North Bay Regional Health Centre since November.

Doctors won't let him out until his home is retrofitted to be wheelchair accessible.

Last Friday, the North Bay Minor Hockey Association launched a Facebook fundraiser called ‘Team Willie’ to raise anywhere between $10,000 and $15,000 for home renovations.

As of Wednesday afternoon, donations totalled $25,000. The hockey association said carpenters are currently at Cowie’s house installing railings.

The hockey association is pleased to see the minor hockey community support Cowie, who has played and coached hockey in the past and also ensured kids had equipment to play.

"People realize what Willie has done,” said North Bay Minor Hockey Association President Darrell Pitman.

“They know him and it's good for everybody to pay back to somebody that has dedicated his life for helping people in minor hockey.”

Pitman said Cowie aims to get out of the hospital in the coming weeks and hopes to see him at the rink again before the season ends.

“He can't believe it. He's just so overwhelmed,” said Pitman.

Cowie has been a hockey volunteer for three decades.

He has been a diabetic for 15 years.

The staples from his amputated leg were taken out Friday morning and his recovery in rehab is going faster than doctors expected. Still, it’s a long road ahead for him as he has to learn to live with one leg. Top Stories

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