Smells Like Town Spirit
· 5 min. read
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Article by Jessica Nuttall.
Kraft Hockeyville is an annual competition sponsored by Kraft Heinz and the NHL. The winning community receives a cash prize that goes towards upgrading their local rink, as well as an opportunity to host an NHL pre-season game. To date, no town from Saskatchewan has won this contest - despite the fact that Saskatchewan produces more NHL players per capita than any other province!
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement for the finalists for the 2020 Kraft Hockeyville contest was delayed until August, with the four finalists being: Pense, Saskatchewan; Saint-Félicien, Quebec; Tyne Valley, Prince Edward Island; and Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Pense, a small town located approximately 25km west of Regina, Saskatchewan, was the only community in Western Canada to be nominated.
Everyone from a small town knows that the rink is the hub of the town ? it's where many kids learn to skate, whether that be figure skating or hockey, it's where we cheer on our local team - where we come together as a community.
Growing up in Pense, I have many fond memories of meeting at the rink for supper at the canteen with my friends, learning how to curl, figure skating, and watching some great hockey. I come from a hockey family ? my cousin was once a goalie for the U of R Huskies ? (personally, I can't block a puck to save my life). Some of my greatest memories growing up were spent in the Pense Rink, and I'm sure many others who grew up in Pense can say the same thing.
When the original rink in Pense burned down in the summer of 1989, the town rallied together to raise funds to build a new one, and after numerous fundraisers, donations, grants, raffles, dinner theaters, cabarets, Bingos, and fashion shows, enough money was raised ($850,846 to be exact!), with the total cost of the project coming to a whopping $1,041,000. That is an incredible amount of money to be raised in a small town of 500 people ? but that just exemplifies Saskatchewan small town spirit and the get-to-it attitude that makes these projects possible.
However, after nearly 30 years of wear and tear, the rink is in dire need of some repairs. The rink brine piping has a 20-25 year life expectancy, and since the rink was rebuilt, the piping has never been replaced. Pense has already raised $106,000 through fundraising, but is still $200,000 short ? the cash prize for the Kraft Hockeyville contest being $250,000.
Voting begins this Friday, August 14th at 9:00 a.m. ET and ends August 15th, 2020 at 6pm.
The contest is open to legal residents of Canada only, 13 years of age or older. To vote, simply head to www.krafthockeyville.ca, go to sign in/register, enter your information, and you will be eligible to vote this Friday! You can also vote as many times as you'd like.
The winner will be announced August 15th.
Show your support for Western Canada and love of hockey by voting for Pense this Friday! Remember ? a vote for Pense is a vote for the West.
But don't take my word for it:
As well as Claire Hanna on CTV News and Hayley Wickenheiser on Twitter.
Yes, Go Pense! Lots of memories playing there and down the road from our family farm. Good luck guys! https://t.co/neFY8rHxm7
— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) August 11, 2020
Photos credits: Stephanie Klemp, Chad Fenrick, Mike and Lori Nuttall, Tera Samchyk, CTV News, and Leah Bernard.
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Categories: Canada, Saskatchewan