Once again the people of Sylvan Lake and all of their supporters are waiting in anticipation.
Wondering if their efforts were enough to catapult them into the Top 2 in the Kraft Hockeyville (www.krafthockeyville.ca) competition.
Already Sylvan Lake, which was named to the Top 4 Saturday night, has earned a $50,000 prize in the competition. That could increase to $100,000 when an announcement is made following the second period of the Edmonton Oilers-Calgary Flames game this Saturday.
Then it’s back to the computer keyboards or other mobile devices to again tally votes. The ultimate prize, besides the $100,000 is a pre-season NHL game in our community and promotion of the winner on CBC television.
For volunteers organizing the community’s campaign, it’s been another busy week. And planning is taking place to make sure the announcement this Saturday is suitably marked.
A Top 2 Reveal Party is taking place at the community centre from 7-11 p.m. Saturday featuring the local band West of the Fifth playing their Sylvan Lake Hockeyville song and a selection of other music through the evening. A huge screen will be erected so people can watch the hockey game and announcement.
The event is open to all ages and will include food and beverages. Once voting opens for the final round a “Sudden Death Voting” contest is planned with prizes for some of those participating. Bring your laptops or other mobile devices. Wifi will be available.
Encourage friends from surrounding communities who have been supporting Sylvan Lake to attend and enjoy the evening, encouraged Graham Parsons, chairperson of the local committee.
He added Sylvan Lake plans to be the West’s representative when the Top 2 communities are named. However, if for some reason we’re surpassed by Salmon Arm, he urged people to support them in the final voting.
The past week, leading up to the ‘reveal’ of the Top 4, Sylvan’s volunteers were busy soliciting support across the country and in the region. They attended Electric Garage’s Red Deer Collector Car Auction and Speed Show on the weekend as well as Red Deer Rebels and Bentley Generals games.
Working with Sylvan Lake’s community peace officers and firefighters, a checkstop was held on 47th Avenue for two and a half hours on Sunday.
The computer lab at École H. J. Cody High School was open for voting again last Saturday night. Jas Payne said those voting consisted of a core group who were there the week before as well as a few more. The lab was also kept busy Monday as students recorded their votes.
If Sylvan Lake advances, the computers will again be available for use, said Payne.
Another checkstop is being planned for this Sunday, provided Sylvan’s in the next round of voting. For those who participated in the last checkstop, it was heartening to hear how many people had already embraced Sylvan Lake’s campaign and spent time voting that day. There were others though who weren’t aware of the competition but were quite willing to get involved.
Businesses across the community have been involved, encouraging employees to vote, setting up voting stations and spreading the message that we need lots of votes, according to Parsons.
He’s also been interviewed on radio and television stations in Edmonton and Calgary. Information was sent by committee members to radio on-air personalities across the province last Sunday and Monday.
An announcement also appears on the large Innisfail Chamber of Commerce electronic sign on Highway 2, capturing the attention of motorists heading both north and south.
As Parsons said before, a goal of this campaign is to strengthen community spirit and garner provincial and national publicity about our community. That’s certainly happening as voters log in from across the country.
For those looking for the most up-to-date information on the campaign, check the Sylvan Lake Hockeyville 2014 Facebook page. One of the interesting graphics posted there is a chart of where people are voting from. On the list are communities from coast to coast — Newfoundland to British Columbia to the Northwest Territories and Yukon.
Now’s not the time to let up, said Parsons. We need to be prepared to vote during one last 48 hour period, once Sylvan Lake is revealed in the Top 2. He’s convinced it will happen, as are all of the volunteers dedicating their time to this project.
Work will continue this week to solicit support across the country. Everyone can help by contacting friends and business associates throughout Canada.