A group of volunteers have been working frantically preparing to get the vote out during the Kraft Hockeyville competition this weekend.
Announcement of the top 16 communities is scheduled for the intermission between the second and third periods of the first Hockey Night in Canada game Saturday night.
Then at 8 p.m. an intense 48-hour period of voting takes place to determine what four communities — two from the west and two from the east — will move on to the next round of voting. A second announcement will be made during a Hockey Night in Canada game on Mar. 15. The final round of voting will begin Mar. 22 after the field has been narrowed to two communities.
“We fully expect to be among the top 16,” said committee chairman Graham Parsons. “Then it’s a case of go, go, go.”
“Our whole goal is to bring national attention to our town and to bring our community together,” he said during a meeting Tuesday night.
People may vote as often as they want.
The prize at stake is $100,000 for arena upgrades plus the opportunity to host a pre-season NHL game and a visit from CBC. The top 16 communities win $25,000 towards arena upgrades. Those who progress to the top four see that amount increased to $50,000 and then the final two see the total increase to $100,000.
During the past couple of weeks, Krafty, the local banner has made stops in lots of places where people have posed for pictures which are uploaded to the Sylvan Lake Hockeyville Facebook page.
Now that voting is just days away, things are ramping up to spread the word that our entry needs votes.
Volunteers are attending hockey games in Central Alberta locations. A group will be at the Red Deer Rebels game Friday night. Others will be at the Red Deer home show Saturday and Sunday. And still others will be at the Bentley Generals game to rally support for Sylvan Lake. A booth is being planned for Bower Mall this weekend to encourage people to support Sylvan Lake.
If you’re interested in volunteering for any of these events, contact Megan Chernoff at 403-396-2793 or email@example.com.
“It’s all about getting the vote out and moving on to the next round,” stated Parsons.
The computer lab at École H. J. Cody High School will be open for the announcement Saturday evening and through the night to Sunday afternoon, said Jas Payne. Approximately 80 computers are available for teams, groups, businesses and others wanting to participate. Contact him at the school, 403-887-2412 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to book times to vote with your group.
The Legion is hosting a “Voting Day” party beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday evening where people can gather to watch the announcement and then begin voting. Everyone’s welcome.
Another rally is being planned at the multiplex for kids and families also beginning at 5 p.m. That evening there’s a Peewee AA playoff game at 5:45 and a Midget AA playoff game against Red Deer at 8 p.m. Both are sure to excite that evening. The Peewee AA Lakers won their battle Tuesday night in the fifth period defeating the Okotoks Oilers two games to one to advance to the next level.
Parsons said the committee is also encouraging people to get involved in team challenges, business challenges, house parties and whatever else they decide to do to generate more interest in helping Sylvan Lake reach its goal of being number one in Canada.
“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.”
Two songs have been created to support Sylvan Lake’s bid for the Kraft Hockeyville 2014 title. One was recorded by West of the Fifth to the tune of Stompin’ Tom Connors Hockey Song. It debuted at the Peewee AA Lakers game Tuesday night. The other was written by Flashback Freddie and should also be on the Facebook page in the near future.
Voting continues through Sunday and Parsons said he’s encouraged by support from the ministerial association. He’s calling it Family Voting Day. “Continue to vote as many times as you can,” he said.
On Monday, students at École Fox Run School will be participating in a spirit rally. “It’s all in the name of community spirit,” Parsons said.
Dale Plante, attending a rural tourism conference in Camrose, has been busy this week promoting Sylvan Lake’s campaign. Over 27 communities had already pledged to support us at press time.
Chamber of commerce members are also involved, spreading the enthusiasm for voting and putting up signs to raise visibility of the community’s campaign.
To keep up-to-date with the quickly unfolding events surrounding Sylvan’s bid for this title, watch the Sylvan Lake Hockeyville Facebook page. As an indication of the momentum gathering, the page already has almost 5,500 likes.
Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SylvanLakeNews to see artwork to rally support for Sylvan Lake’s Kraft Hockeyville campaign. Students from École Fox Run School and CP Blakely School have contributed drawings with a superhero theme.