Five years ago April 5 Sylvan Lake made history when it was crowned Kraft Hockeyville 2014.
The community came together to work hard in order for the town to become Alberta’s first Hockeyville winner.
The Five Year Anniversary celebration was a “Share the Memories ‘Come and Go’ Gathering” held at the Viewpoint Lounge in the NexSource Centre.
A historical timeline video was revealed, there was a special Steve Dills tribute, as well as reflections from Graham Parsons, Mayor Sean McIntyre and MP Blaine Calkins.
The evening ended with attendees socializing and sharing cake while looking over the exact spot they all were when they found out Sylvan Lake was Kraft Hockeyville 2014.
“We’re looking back now five years after the big win and for me it still feels like yesterday and I keep trying to put my jersey away and it just won’t go away,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre to the attendees. “Like the jersey this whole thing has become a badge of pride for our community.”
McIntyre said it brought the town together at a time when it really needed to be together, referring to the collapse of the old arena in early 2014.
“I feel like I played such a small part in this, but I realize in that that it takes so many people to make something like this happen,” McIntyre said, adding at the time he knew they were doing something special, but had no idea it would make history.
“What a cool team to be a part of like this and I hope that you know that your contributions… your effort in this has made you a leader of our community, has made you a part of the pillars of our community and I want to say that on behalf of the whole town I’m grateful for every one of you,” McIntyre said to the other volunteers committee members in attendance.
Blaine Calkins said, like McIntyre, he can’t seem to put his Hockeyville jersey away either.
“A number of things happen over a lifetime, things that you do remember, things that you think you should remember, but one of the things I will always remember is standing down here on the surface of the rink when they actually announced Sylvan Lake as Kraft Hockeyville,” said Calkins. “When Gary Bettman announced it it was just like awesome.”
He reminisced on how many people volunteered and worked hard to make Kraft Hockeyville happen.
“This is an amazing community, amazing leadership and I couldn’t be more proud to have just been a small, small part of that,” Calkins said, adding Hockeyville will be something he cherishes professionally and personally.
“So many dreams have come true because of the hard work of this community,” Calkins said.
Graham Parsons capped off the walk down memory lane by sharing his memories from the marathon to Hockeyville.
“That was the greatest moment of my life when Gary Bettman said that and not too many people get the chance to remember their greatest moment ever,” said Parsons.
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