Bedeque's Hockeyville effort ends

Mike Nesbitt
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Bedeque and Area Recreation Centre board chair Kevin Schurman shows the brine pump which is at the top of the list for replacement, using some of the $50,000 that was won.

Prince Edward Island community loses to Kingston, N.S.

CENTRAL BEDEQUE — After 2,876,095 votes, the Kraft Hockeyville eastern final came down to a difference of 2.4 per cent of the total.

There was high anticipation on Saturday afternoon as the Hockey Night In Canada broadcast of the announcement approached.

The rink was busy serving the provincial finals of the Atom A classification, with the Bedeque Stingers as part of that tournament adding to the importance of the contest to local sports interests.

The volunteer committee that runs the facility was pleased to make the long-list of contestants, as the $25,000 that achievement would help manage the facility’s finances and provide for some desperately needed repairs.

A concerted effort at promotion for quarter-final voting managed to earn a spot against Salmon Arm, B.C.; Sylvan Lake, Alta.; and Kingston, N.S., and also boosted the centre to the $50,000 level of Kraft Hockeyville funding support.

That extra value would allow more extensive repairs, and perhaps even leverage other sources of assistance to expand the opportunity for upgrades according to David MacDonald, vice-chairman of the volunteer committee.

Their success buoyed hopes, but committee members were prepared for any outcome, satisfied at least with the success they had so far been able to encourage.

The wait was a long one. Hockey Night In Canada announced the decision at the second intermission of the second game of the night, at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

MacDonald was amazed that the vote totals were revealed, noting that the eastern contestants outvoted the western, who totaled 2,410,990.

Duane MacDonald, another board member, felt the group exceeded expectations.

“We were very proud of ourselves. We got 1.4-million votes. That’s tremendous.

“I never thought we’d get even close to that. We really gave Kingston a run for the money,” he assessed.

David MacDonald was satisfied with the success the community did have, but admits it means that the application of the funds won’t be highly visible when renovations are completed.

“The first thing we have to replace is the brine pump. Then there’s pipes that lead to that brine pump that have to be replaced, there is a condenser on the roof that is a part of that plant and has to be replaced, and we need a new hot water heater in our Zamboni room,” he projected.

“The sad part of this whole thing is the public is going to come in next year, and most of the (improvements) are going to be in the background, where it’s all locked up, and people aren’t going to see it.

“But we have to do that to run the rink, and that’s what we have to replace. Now we can do that: we know that we’re running next year, and we know we are running for years to come,” thanks to Kraft Hockeyville, he acknowledged.

A celebration for what success has been achieved will take place at some future date. MacDonald indicated that appreciation is strong for the Kraft Hockeyville opportunity, and the board is considering options for expressing that.

The Credit Union Centre in Kingston now competes against the Medican Multi-Plex in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, with voting closing locally at 12:59:59 a.m. March 25. Voting for the Kraft Hockeyville winner, who will host an NHL pre-season game and be featured on CBC, can be done at krafthockeyville.cbc.ca

Organizations: Credit Union Centre, Medican Multi-Plex, NHL CBC

Geographic location: Kingston, Canada, Prince Edward Island Sylvan Lake Salmon Arm Alberta

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