Do you know what Hockeyville is? It’s an annual competition to determine the Canadian community that best “emobodies the spirit of hockey and hometown pride”. There are currently 5 finalists after the first round of voting and the community my sister lives in is on the list – Woolwich (which includes Elmira and St. Jacobs). The winner will receive, among other things, an NHL pre-season game played in their hometown arena. How cool would that be?
As you can tell by the other hockey-related posts on this site, our family are pretty big hockey fans and for our nephews and neice to actually see an NHL game played in their very own arena would be A Really Big Deal. It needs to happen.
So for those few people who actually read our varied ramblings, I’m going to ask a favour – vote. It’s really easy – just go to the Kraft Hockeyville site to vote online. There are also text and telephone options at the Woolwich Hockeyville site, along with other information about the community. Woolwich definately embodies the spirit of hockey. I’ll summarize a couple of their hockey stories here, but please visit the site for more.
Elmira is the hometown of the Snyder family. Their son, Dan, played for the Atlanta Thrashers until 2003, when a car driven by his best friend and teammate Dany Heatley, crashed. Both were ejected from the car on impact and Dan suffered terrible head injuries. He died six days later. During the 2006–07 NHL season Dan’s parents travelled across North America in an RV attending NHL games and speaking at engagements to raise awareness for the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation. In 2003, The Tragically Hip recorded “Heaven Is A Better Place Today” in honour of Dan. A new arena is currently being built in Elmira. Named the Dan Snyder Memorial Arena, it will be open for the 2009-2010 season.
Woolwich believes that no one who wants to play hockey should be denied. The community has a program in place to ensure that every child who wants to play hockey can, even if money is a bit tight. As any of you who have kids know, enrolling them in sports or activities of any type can be expensive. Hockey in particular requires equipment that is not cheap. So if the community hears of a child that would like to play hockey but can’t due to financial limitations, they do wonderful things – they waive the admission fee or they make sure that a hockey bag full of equipment arrives on the child’s doorstep. Hockey is such an integral part of “community” that Woolwich doesn’t want anyone to miss out.
Voting starts on Saturday, February 28th at 11pm (that’s tomorrow) and ends on Wednesday, March 4th at 11:59pm. So, when you’re logging in to check email, twitter or update your facebook status, please vote! We really, really want our neice and nephews to be sitting at the NHL pre-season game next year…maybe they’ll even bring their aunt and uncle along!