Supported - Each year around this time

Supported - Each year around this time

Sylvan preparing for next round of voting in Hockeyville competition

We need support of people across Canada to win the grand prize

Ripples of anticipation are percolating through Sylvan Lake as residents eagerly await an announcement Saturday evening that the community is among the Top 4 in the Kraft Hockeyville competition.

Cheers rang out at the Legion and multiplex last Saturday evening when there was a brief announcement during the Hockey Night in Canada game that Sylvan Lake had made the cut and was in the Top 16.

Then people sprang to action, voting again and again (yes, you can vote as many times as you want). Organizers confidently believe the tremendous community spirit, drive and enthusiasm will propel Sylvan Lake into the Top 4 when the next announcement is made during the Hockey Night in Canada game this Saturday. Then there’s another intense 48 hour period to narrow the field to the Top 2 who will be announced the following Saturday followed by a final round of voting.

In conjunction with the next round, a Kraft Hockeyville community dinner is being planned for H. J. Cody School this Saturday, from 5-7:30 p.m. featuring Kraft Dinner and wieners. Flashback Freddie will be there to entertain and there will be lots of community spirit at this family event. Come and enjoy.

Banners and signs will be spread throughout Sylvan Lake and surrounding communities, by volunteers, encouraging people to vote as the organization ramps up its efforts for the next round.

In all of the promotion which is taking place to rally Sylvan Lake and our supporters, it’s heartening to see the community spirit flourishing.

At École H. J. Cody High School, the computer lab, with 80 computers, was open for voters through the night Saturday and then again Sunday, closing about 5 p.m. that day.

Jas Payne estimated over 20,000 votes were logged Saturday night, partly by a group of 13 year old girls who held a ‘slumber party’ voting non-stop for six hours. “It was fantastic,” he said. About 30-40 people spent time Sunday voting. Then Monday, Cody students kept the lab busy by voting.

The lab will be open again this weekend for people to vote. Already some of the teams have been asking about space. Contact Payne at 403-887-2412 or by email at to book times.

Volunteers distributed voting information at the Red Deer Rebels and Bentley Generals games last weekend and through booths at the home show and Bower Mall.

The Sylvan Lake Hockeyville Facebook page, maintained by Dianne Womacks, has been a hub of quickly evolving information throughout, attracting over 5,800 likes already.

One of the questions posed was, ‘Where are you voting from?’ Over 150 people responded from communities such as Fort St. John, Courtenay, Kamloops, Campbell River, Salt Spring Island, Terrace and Sparwood in BC, Watrous, Yorkton and Kamsack, SK, Whitehorse, Yukon, Bloodvein and McCreary, MB, Sarnia, Burlington, Belleville, Ingersoll and Stirling, ON, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and other Canadian locales. The campaign’s reach has also taken its message to other countries with voters reporting from several locations in Arizona, Florida, California and South Carolina. England, Costa Rica, Belize, Japan, New Zealand, Columbia and Mexico were some of the other international locations where snowbirds and former Sylvan residents reported voting.

Some of the posts on the page have also provided emotional reactions, added Womacks. She noted one from Trev Smith who wrote “Got over a hundred votes in while I’m on location waiting on a rig until the net just got too slow to keep going. Someone has to take over for me!” The responses were great. “Got your back,” wrote Debbie Thomas. “Got it covered Trev,” added Sylvia Spasic. “I keep going Trev,” wrote MC Clarke. Mackenzie Rogers posted, “I have not stopped all day, I got it covered!”

Spasic also posted a heartwarming story on the page about her thoughts on the last couple of days (see separate article).

Parsons and musician Flashback Freddie conducted interviews with radio stations Monday in the Red Deer area, receiving fantastic support and repeated messages throughout the day.

Freddie wrote one of the two songs promoting Sylvan Lake’s Hockeyville message. The other was written and recorded by the local band West of the Fifth. Both may be viewed on the Facebook page.

Now the goal, following Saturday’s announcement, is to rally enough voters to push Sylvan Lake into the Top 2 and then in the final round of voting to a decisive win.

Reach out to your friends and acquaintances, said Parsons. We’re going to need hundreds of thousands of votes from across the country to win.

“Email friends and family everywhere in the nation and encourage them to support us,” he said. “Send out messages on Facebook and other social media. We can do this Sylvan Lake.”