The Dog River Howlers are pleased to announce that Gren Thomas (Vancouver) and Tim Young (Regina) have joined the board of the Howlers. Both Gren and Tim have been stalwart supporters of the game and the Howlers programs/initiative. The Howlers are very fortunate to have Gren and Tim on board!
Please find an update below on Emily Asiniwasis, provided by
Karl all is in order and going smoothly with Emily. She started her treatment on Monday which includes Chemo once a week and Radiation everyday for 6 weeks. Because of the stress this causes on her body we arranged to have a service called "Driving Miss Daisy" to take her to and from the hospital to make her more comfortable. Because of the generosity of the Howlers Emily is able to concentrate on getting healthy and not on bills and rent. I am humbled by the amount of support and I can reassure you that she is incredibly grateful for everything this group has done. I will keep you posted as the weeks progress.
Jose Romelo Lagman, official photographer for Rugby Canada and the Dog River Howlers, is the editor/publisher of Rugby Day in Canada magazine.
Jose has dedicated the most recent edition (released today!) to the Dog River Howlers. There are some great articles, incredible pictures and general information about the Howlers in this fourth edition of Rugby Day in Canada.
Click on this link to take it all in...
A big thank you to Jose and all of the contributors that helped with this special edition of the magazine!
Who are the Howlers and where do they fit into the grand scheme of things? This is a question that many of my non rugby playing friends ask me when I tell them I’m off for my 2nd trip with this popular new ‘ barbarians’ type club (to Las Vegas of all places). I often go through the touring experience with them and explain how that fits into the life of a rugby player regardless of where you stand on the representative ladder.
Rugby tours are the essence of our sport. It’s how I got interested in the game and it’s a large reason why people stay involved at all levels of the game.
My first taste of the touring life was at the age of 15, when my high school coach Mr. Kirk Robertson arranged a tour to Wales and England for our entire rugby program. That was the first of 2 tours (the 2nd was to Scotland) I went on in high school and I was hooked. On that trip we watched Wales play France at the old Cardiff Arms Park, and I’ll never forget the feeling of being in the crowd. I doubt that it directly had anything to do with my eventual success on the pitch, but it definitely helped to give perspective to the possibilities available to all rugby players.
From there, I’ve been lucky enough to represent our fine country in both 7’s and 15’s, and had the opportunity to play abroad. I know for a fact that all rugby players, whether a 3rd division prop in Quebec or a Top 14 winger, all have a sense of the touring side of the game. And regardless of the level of play, they would jump at an opportunity to travel to a new location and experience both the rugby and culture (read: beer) of the locals.
Regardless of the trips you have been a part of, or the touring sides you have hosted, if you are involved in rugby, you will know the bonds which can be created and friendships which can come from the rugby touring experience.
The Dog River Howlers are taking this concept to greater heights than most have in Canada, and have started to reach out to some of the smaller and more obscure (rugby) places in the world. The often quoted motto of “it’s more than a game, it’s a way of life” is something the Howlers founder Karl Fix actually believes in. And quite frankly, it’s the reason this club has been successful both off and on the pitch.
Fixy for those who know him IS in reality larger than life. If he ever asks for your email address, you may want to think twice about it (or increase your message limits) before accepting. His unrelenting stream of communication has in part helped to solidify this touring side as a legitimate squad which plays at an extremely high level.
While the team does not officially play a role in the NSMT setup, it does provide players a place to represent themselves on a bigger stage and thus be considered for higher honors. For old guys like me, it give us a chance to hang on kicking and screaming to the ‘glory’ days of international 7’s rugby, but the reality is that there are a number of guys who are competing for national team places (both in 7’s and 15’s) who also play for the Howlers. This in itself can only be good for the game in Canada. In my eyes, the more places that young guys have to go to get recognized, the better.
From an off field perspective, most would have heard of the charitable work that Karl coordinates, but I’ll guarantee you that there are few rugby organizations who will make the time and effort to leave the places they visit better off than when they arrived. This type of ethos is the foundation of Karl’s team and I assure all who are involved (players and supporters) strive to maintain that air of respect and integrity for the places we go.
As I prepare for the Howlers trip to Vegas, I get a sense that the team is growing in stature. The teams that we will face in Vegas are either full international sides, or high level rep teams like the Howlers. If we can compete and continue down this road, there is no telling to what heights this team can achieve.
Also, with the Rugby World Cup looming on the horizon, I’d like to take the time to give thanks to all who support the Howlers club and rugby in general in Canada. Without your unending support the game would not be where it is today.
See you in Vegas,
Popular local entertainer Rory Allen and Marla Preston, general manager of the Hotel Saskatchewan (foreground) are participating in a fundraising Valentine’s black-tie gala organized by the Dog River Howlers Rugby Club.
If you think rugby players are merely a bunch of brutes who like to drink, the Dog River Howlers Rugby Club is ready of prove you wrong. The community-minded club is presenting a Valentine’s gala — an evening of elegance, fine dining, and entertainment — with all proceeds donated to the Leader-Post Christmas Cheer Fund, which supports four Regina domestic abuse shelters: the YWCA Regina’s Isabel Johnson Shelter, Regina Transition House, WISH Safe House, and SOFIA House.
We want to do something good for the community,” said Karl Fix, one of those who spearheaded the Bowties & Sweethearts Valentine’s Gala, which will be held Feb. 12 in the Regency Ballroom at the Hotel Saskatchewan Radisson Plaza. “And it will help people see rugby in a better light,” he added. “We’re more than a rugby club.”
Fix, Tim Wicijowski, Herb Wheaton, Tim Young and Craig Lothian are the organizers of the by-invitation-only black-tie event, which will feature gourmet creations by Chef Milton Rebello and white-glove table service. Popular local entertainer Rory Allen will be the featured performer, with appearances by Jodi Scott and Jasmine Paige.
The exclusive “social event of the season,” as Fix describes it, will include hors d’oeuvres and a five-course meal, valet parking, a complimentary Valentine’s sweetheart rose, and a complimentary photo of each couple.
“It’s like a Vegas experience,” Fix said. “No corners are cut. It’s all black tie, first cabin.”
About 300 “community leaders” are expected to attend the $150-per-ticket gala.
The Leader-Post Christmas Cheer Fund is only one of the non-rugby-related endeavours supported by the Howlers since the Regina-based rugby club was formed in 2007. For example, the club has donated money and supplies to support orphanages and schools in Havana, Cuba. Closer to home, it’s provided a van and financial assistance to a First Nations grandmother, who is single-handedly raising her four grandchildren (one of whom lost part of his leg to cancer) — and is now battling cancer herself.
The club has also donated money, rugby balls and shirts, to support rugby enthusiasts around the globe — from Cuba to Mexico and Rwanda. And it has provided financial assistance to fellow rugby players battling cancer and life-altering injuries.
The Dog River Howlers Rugby Club believes rugby is more than a game. It’s a way of life, Fix said.
Besides playing rugby, competitively, the club believes it needs to contribute to both the sport and to people in need everywhere, he said.
“The Howlers also want to use ‘our game’ as a vehicle to build bridges between people around the world,” Fix explained.
“It’s time to give back.”
By IRENE SEIBERLING Leader-Post
21 Jan 2011
The Howlers along with the generous support of "Club Supporters" Roger Gay (Mexico City) and Mike Holmes(Victoria, BC) put together a bursary/scholarship that brought 20 year old Mexican National Rugby Team player Christian Henning to the University Of Victoria to pursue his studies and rugby. Christian first caught the eye of the Howlers coaches and management along with Holmes and Gay (played together for the U of Vic Vikings some 25 years ago and both went on to represent their respective countries) first noticed this young talent at the Havana Howlers 7's and Cancun 7's. He arrived in Victoria last week and starts his first day of school today. I'm sure this will not be the last time you hear this young man's name in rugby circles.
Karl Fix, President, Dog River Howlers
What to do on a lazy Sunday? How about a 4 hour Sevens mini camp to get the blood pumping? Junior Howlers head coach, Robin MacDowell, with the capable assistance of Chase Sereda and David Poettcker (both senior Howlers), were on hand to take BC based Howlers through their paces on Sunday in Kitsilano.
The session attracted players from Comox, Coquitlam and Abbotsford (just to name a few of the commutes) in a challenging day of skills, conditioning and strategy.Coach MacDowell was impressed by both the commitment of the players and the skills on display.The Howlers continue to prepare for their inaugural participation in the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament, held in conjunction with the iRB Sevens the weekend of February 11 - 13, 2011.
Below is the latest update from Mike Staffen, the young Regina rugby/basketball player that the Howlers held a number of fundraisers to help assist him while he battled for his life . When admitted to the hospital now almost 3 years ago, Mike was suffering from lymphoma, double pneumonia, kidney failure, pulminary endema, septisemia and complications wi his renal artery. From what the doctors described as having zero chance of survival (actually twice) to a what can only be described as miraculous comeback. Along the way the cancer also took his sight away. This is truly an inspirational story.
Read more about it on his facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7677219970&ref=ts
Here is an update of what is going on in my recovery, life and everything that has happened since my last update. As I mentioned in my last update, we were going to Ecuador for another stem c ell treatment. Although I am in good health, I still am blind. That is okay though, as I am getting along with out my vision fairly well. My current bill of health as per my oncologist's words is that I am "pretty much cured".. Other things that I have going on in my life is that I am currently working for the Federal Government on an eight month CO-OP work term. Before I started working, I could not even conceive how a person could possibly be functional in an office environment as a completely blind person. My work term has been an enlightening experience and is one of my best experiences since I went blind. To work I have had to overcome
many obstacles and fears about my abilities as it relates to being a new, totally blind person in a world oriented for the sighted. Many of my classes were completed as a sighted person and all of my past work experience was as a sighted person. My writing skills which I learned in university have been a very important part of my work experience. When I went back to university as a blind person, I had to re-hardwire my brain to write an essay without being able to see. I was wrought with anxiety and fear that I would not be able to succeed and hence, I would never be able to get a job and more particularly never enjoy a career.. I put several hundred hours into my first university class as a blind person. and it pushed me to the limits of what I could do. That being said, writing has been an important communication tool in my job, and if I would not have gone back to university, I would have never put in the time I needed to become proficient enough to be competent in my job. By far the most important skills I learned at this job were the skills that most people who work in an office environment take for granted. For example, being able to use the office fax machine or photocopier was something that I had to relearn how to do. Further to this were the computer skills that are essential to any person who wants to be competitive in the work force. The guy I am training with, via teleconference from Ottawa, is simply amazing. He can do more on a computer, than I ever could as a sighted person and now, I am learning those computer skills. Finally, as a blind person, I have been working hard at becoming progressively more organized in my job. This is a continuous process, but one in which I have improved in allot in my current work term and one that will be crucial in my next job and every job that I do from here on in. In my next job interview, I will have the confidence to say that yes, I can work proficiently in an office environment. I am finding this job interesting and hope to be able to work in this program area in the future after I graduate. After this work term ends, I will have two classes and a third work term in the fall to complete my Degree. I am also starting a class this semester, so it is going to be busy. Anyway, that is about all that is going on with me...for now. Oh, I guess that reminds me, it has been over two years since my last chemo treatment. I cannot believe how fast the time is going by. Amazing!!
Emily Asiniwasis is an amazing First Nations women now residing in Edmonton who has been raising her grandchildren and now great grandchildren on her own. Originally she was living in Regina but had to move to Edmonton as her grandson Nicolas had to receive treatment at the Children's Hospital there for the cancer he was fighting( lost part of his leg). See previous Howlers fundraisers:
Many of you know the story of Nicolas a young man from Regina that recently moved to Edmonton for treatment of cancer in his leg. We were able to help out with expenses and a van for this family that was very much in need. The Grandmother Emily is an amazing women and has taken care of her grandchildren when no one else would. As of today Emily has 7 people and an infant living in a small 3 bedroom house in Edmonton. She is this families rock and takes care of all of the children without asking for anything. Sadly last week Emily was diagnosed with severe inoperable cancer in her sinus cavity, skull and neck. I went with Emily to the doctor today because she has a hard time remembering what is being told to her at each visit. She will be undergoing radiation and Chemo at the end of the month to try and stop the cancer from spreading. The doctor believes it is 50/50 in removing the cancer. Emily's situation at home is very unstable and now a family member has left leaving her with all the rent. She is feeding 7 by going to the food bank and it is heartbreaking to know she has to support an entire family while in treatment of serious cancer.
Always upbeat the first thing she said when both Darren Cunningham and I spoke to her was that she is already looking for a smaller place to live that she can afford. To maintain her family she has cashed in her RRSP's(formerly she was a teachers aid) to subsidize the money she receives form the government. I assured Emily she need not worry about paying the rent our feeding her 8 mouths while she is taking her treatments radiation and chemo treatments over the next 3 months as the rugby community is stepping up. She was on the verge of tears thanking me sincerely and profusely.. The last thing this women needs is added stress which would further hinder her recovery.
Thanks to everyone to date that have stepped up to help Emily and her family out. A special thanks to Mosaic,Young's Equipment, Ron Allen, Dave Robertson who between them contributed $3,000.
Howler Darren Cunningham has arranged to get some needed van repairs( a Howlers purchase on 2009 with the major funds again coming from Mosaic and Young's Equipment) along with arranging for the wives of the Clansmen Rugby Club(that he is president of) to drop off regular meals for Emily and her grandchildren.
Obviously the below people and organizations took the Howlers theme song to heart - http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741
1. Karl Fix & Sandy Beug( Regina Rogues Rugby Club )
2. Gary Dukelow (Shawnigan Lake School/Cowachin Rugby Club)
3. Pete Black & Tracy Burkitt-Black ( Edmonton Clansmen RFC)
4. Tim & Judy Young of Young's Equipment (5 Case Dealerships)( Regina Rogues Rugby Club )
5. Bobby Ross (former Canadian National Rugby Team player)
6. Shawnigan Lake School (Vancouver Island)
7. David Robertson ( current member of Rugby Canada Board and head master of Shawnigan Lake School)
8. Al and Marnie Poettcker (son David plays with the Dog River and Vancouver Rowing Club)
9. Dick Cornish (Regina Rogues Rugby Club)
10. Rick Bourne (president of Rugby Canada)
11. Mike Devlin - (president Burnaby Rugby Club)
12. Chris Bayda (Regina Rogues Rugby Club)
13. Kevin Blanchette ( Prairie Wolfpack Rugby Club)
14. Dirk Sebesse (Hanover Rugby, Germany)
15. Ian Mc Laren (Regina Rogues Rugby Club)
16. Mark Lawson( former Canadian National team player)
17. Darren Cunningham( Edmonton Clansmen Rugby Club)
18. Dana Lowrie (Edmonton Clansmen Rugby Club)
19. Chase Sereda ( Howlers player and also Bayside Rugby Club, White Rock, BC)
20. Jordan Stinn ( Lep-Tigers Rugby Club, Edmonton)
21. Ron Allen (president of the Edmonton Rugby Union and also member of Edmonton Clansmen)
22.The Mosaic Company (Concentrated Phosphate and Potash Crop Nutrition)
23. Mark Docherty (Regina Campion Grads Rugby Club)
24. Regina Campion Grads Rugby Club
25. Jo Reinbold( Edmonton Rockers Rugby Club)
26. Coleen Penman ( Dog River Howlers physio)
27. Dave Froh ( Regina Rogues Rugby Club)
Total - $5,600
The Dog River Howlers are a philanthropic rugby club that is devoted to spreading the game of rugby around the world and helping those less fortunate; who do not have the knowledge or resources to support the playing rugby in their local communities.
Every year the Howler’s donate money, rugby gear, school supplies, clothes and shoes to our Cuban counterparts in Havana. Cuba is a communist state where nearly all of the local inhabitants live in extremely destitute neighbourhoods. With limited resources for all sports in Cuba, simple things such as boots and jerseys are hard to come by. Even getting to the games can be tough, as some players walk hours from their rural homes to attend games in the larger cities.
Recently, my mom informed me “It’s time to either throw away those boxes of unused rugby gear and boots in the storage room or it’s going to Big Brothers”. Feeling slightly sentimental about turning over years of playing kit to Big Brothers I thought to myself; “Is there anyone who might appreciate this antique rugby kit”. I asked Karl Fix, and of course he knew someone who needed it! Karl’s longtime Cuban Contact, Chukin from Havana was overwhelmed to hear that the Howler’s will be sending some Rugby Gear in early 2011, and what started out as cleaning some items out of my parents storage room has turned into a worldwide donation campaign!
So far the Howler’s have confirmed donations from Canadian Rugby Legend Gareth Rees, current pro player Jamie Cudmore from Clermont Auvergne in France, as well as various domestic donations from local rugby clubs in Calgary, Ontario, Saskatchewan Vancouver and Victoria. This outpouring of support has been fantastic and speaks to the character of rugby players and supporters across Canada. If you would like to donate any rugby gear to help support the development of Rugby in Cuba please contact Chase Sereda or Rodger Swany who are co-coordinating the shipment of the gear to Cuba: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com.
The Howler’s will be travelling to Havana in November 2011 along with teams from Mexico, The United States, Peru, and hopefully other European Countries for the Havana 7s tournament. Your donation will help make this event possible and give many impoverished children an opportunity to play sports; an opportunity which by no means is insignificant in Cuba.
It is more than a game, it is a way of life!