Program awards $180,000 in total to Minor Hockey Associations in Goderich, Lakefield, Burlington, Cornwall and Stittsville, Ontario
TORONTO, April 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Over 750,000 votes were cast as Ontario residents rallied to support minor hockey and select their favourite local hockey supporters who help to make the game go on in their communities. Dirk Wolterbeek from Goderich, Ontario, received the most votes and is being recognized today with a $100,000 award to the Goderich Minor Hockey Association. The other four inspiring Ontarians earning a $20,000 award for their selected minor hockey associations include Mike Goble from Lakefield, Rod McLeod from Cornwall, John McNeil from Burlington and Cathy Bureau from Stittsville.
Ontario Region Grand Prize Winner:
Dirk Wolterbeek, Goderich, ON, Goderich Minor Hockey Association
Dirk Wolterbeek has been coaching local hockey in Goderich since he was a newlywed in 1971. Together with his wife, Mary, Wolterbeek has prepared meals for the Pee-Wee hockey players from across Canada for 30 years, providing over 35,000 meals to-date. Despite following a rigorous routine of dialysis as he battled kidney failure, Wolterbeek re-joined forces with his son to coach the Lions Club Goderich YCW Tournament, the same tourney Wolterbeek won back in 1962.
The four local hockey supporters being recognized with an award of $20,000 each for their selected minor hockey associations are:
Mike Goble, Lakefield, ON, Lakefield Minor Hockey Association
Never a player in his own right, Mike Goble first became involved in hockey through his son. Seeing the positive effects the sport can produce, Goble threw himself into the world of minor hockey as an executive member, ice scheduler, team manager and trainer; he even built a backyard rink so that kids who can't commit or afford to play on a team can enjoy the game he has grown to love.
Rod McLeod, Cornwall, ON, Cornwall Minor Hockey Association
Since he began coaching his three daughters in the Cornwall Girls Hockey Association, Rod McLeod has become a champion of women's hockey in Cornwall. McLeod runs learn-to-skate programs for anyone who wants to learn the game - whether it be four-year-olds or grandmothers - and has been recognized as Citizen of the Year in Cornwall for his contributions to the community.
John McNeil, Burlington, ON, Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association
Known as a "Manager Extraordinaire," John McNeil goes above and beyond for the Major Atom A Burlington Bulldogs. Whether fundraising, coordinating tournaments, hosting the Parents' Christmas Social or organizing this year's Ontario Hockey Federation Playoffs, McNeil is the heart and soul of his team.
Cathy Bureau, Stittsville, ON, Goulbourn Girls Minor Hockey Association
Cathy Bureau has been at the forefront of many firsts for women's hockey in Ottawa. Her father set up the first organized girl's hockey team in Nepean; she was the first Canadian female to receive a US hockey scholarship and was the first female level 4 referee in Ottawa. Since founding the Goulbourn Girls Hockey Association in 2011, Bureau has given many girls the opportunity to play hockey in her community.
"We all know how passionate Canadians are about hockey. And that passion is taken to a whole other level when it comes to grassroots hockey. Whether it's organizing a girls hockey team in Nepean or running learn-to-skate programs in Cornwall, these passionate individuals help bring communities together through their love and dedication to the sport and its young players," said Jack Hewitt, vice president of marketing insight & services, Kraft Canada. "We are proud to recognize those in Ontario and across the country who are at the heart of this nation's sport and help to make a difference in their communities."
"We know that $180,000 will make an incredible impact on the winning hockey communities, helping them to assist many more future hockey stars through additional programming and facility upgrades," said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO, Hockey Canada. "Kraft Hockey Goes On put the spotlight on these individuals and gave them the credit and recognition they so rarely receive."
Through the program, Kraft Hockey Goes On is awarding $1 million to Hockey Canada-affiliated minor hockey associations, including $100,000 awarded to Hockey Canada's Learn to Skate programs.
Beginning on January 21st, Canadians were invited to share their passion for the game by recognizing local supporters who make hockey happen in communities across Canada by entering a nomination at www.krafthockeygoeson.ca. A panel of judges then selected the top 100 finalists, who moved on to a voting period on March 23 and 24.
The Kraft Hockey Goes On partners - Christie, TSN, RDS and Hockey Canada - would like to thank and congratulate all of the nominees that participated in the program.
To view a congratulatory video from TSN, please visit www.facebook.com/krafthockeygoeson.
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SOURCE: Kraft Canada
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Jennifer Zed at Edelman