Program awards $180,000 total to Minor Hockey Associations in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories
WINNIPEG, April 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Over 680,000 votes were cast as Western Canadians rallied to support minor hockey and select their favourite local hockey supporters who help to make the game go on in their communities. Grant Berger, from Central Butte, SK, received the most votes and is being recognized today with a $100,000 award to the Central Butte Minor Hockey Association. The other four inspiring Canadians from the Western provinces earning a $20,000 award for their selected minor hockey associations include Keri Hudec from Fox Valley, SK, Darcy Powlik from Thorsby, AB, Anita Drabyk from Pinawa, MB and Jeff Ashby from Hay River, NT.
Western Region Grand Prize Winner:
Grant Berger, Central Butte, SK, Central Butte Minor Hockey Association
From opening the rink to maintaining the kitchens and driving the Zamboni, Grant Berger does it all. As a long-standing coach, board member and association president, Berger has dedicated countless hours to ensuring that the Central Butte Minor Hockey Association is not only a place to learn and play hockey, but also a welcoming meeting place for the entire community to enjoy.
The four local hockey supporters being recognized with a $20,000 award each for their selected minor hockey associations are:
Keri Hudec, Fox Valley, SK, Fox Valley Minor Hockey Association
As a mom of seven, Keri Hudec is no stranger to a minivan. Whether it's packed with kids, hockey bags or groceries for the arena, Hudec plays a crucial behind-the-scenes role in her hockey community. From organizing tournaments to maintaining the facilities and working in the kitchen during games, Hudec ensures that hockey goes on in Fox Valley.
Darcy Powlik, Thorsby, AB, Thorsby Minor Hockey Association
For the past 33 years, Darcy Powlik has played an essential role in continuing minor hockey in Thorsby. From helping construct Thorsby's first indoor arena to coaching at various levels and successfully campaigning for the first NHLPA grant in Alberta, the heart and dedication of Powlik has helped ensure that hockey thrives in Thorsby.
Anita Drabyk, Pinawa, MB, Pinawa Minor Hockey Association
Since her daughter began playing hockey in 2004, Anita Drabyk has filled many roles within the Pinawa Minor Hockey Association. Along with her late husband, she has organized tournaments, cooked countless game-day meals and taken on any task that needs to be done. Never one to seek recognition, Drabyk is just happy to see hockey go on for her daughter and the community.
Jeff Ashby, Hay River, NT, Hay River Minor Hockey Association
From score clock expert to equipment manager, Jeff Ashby has held many roles within the Hay River Minor Hockey Association since moving into the community in 2002. He can be found at the arena each and every day during the hockey season, always making sure that the kids have everything they need to play the game.
"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 coaching minor hockey in Thorsby, or driving the Zamboni in Central Butte, 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 the Western Region 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