Engaged populace focusing efforts on a worthy goal: Hockeyville title

There’s a profound change happening in our community.

There’s a profound change happening in our community. It’s being built on many other changes which have taken place over the years. And it’s one that can do nothing but strengthen the place we call home.

We’ll call it engagement. People from many facets of our community and beyond are getting involved.

It’s the tremendous outpouring of support, the fantastic memories – the fun and jubilation, the pain and suffering, the welcoming and accommodating, and so much more.

Passions are flaring, emotions are exploding, hidden stories are being written, and buried treasures are being uncovered.

Following the heartbreaking collapse of a portion of the roof on our old arena, which was slated for only a year or two more of service, we’ve seen an overwhelming groundswell surge in activity on how we move on.

Right now it’s being focused, thanks to quick thinking and dedicated individuals, on winning the Kraft Hockeyville competition and the grand prize of $100,000 towards arena upgrades and the opportunity to host a NHL pre-season game next season.

Our tragedy was a fleeting national story – we have a chance now to show the country our strength, unity and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.

A Facebook page started last week, already had over 4,100 likes at mid-afternoon Tuesday – plenty of readers and people posting pictures and stories.

Part of making the first grade – getting ranked in the top 16 across Canada in the Kraft Hockeyville competition – is in submitting “moving and compelling stories about why winning is important to you and our community”.

Organizers want to learn about our spirit, our sense of community and dedication to life experienced at our facilities through stories, videos and pictures. Originality, heartwarming, fun, engaging, eye opening are some of the things your story should include.

Reading some of the stories already posted brings tears, laughter, a sense of pride, and a real understanding of how the arena and now its successor, the multiplex, have and will impact our residents.

In this issue, we’ve selected several of the stories (some have also been submitted to us), and we’re publishing them to expand interest in the movement which is captivating Sylvan Lake and the thousands of people who have visited our facilities in past decades.

You know, our hockey school, with a forty year history, has educated tens of thousands of youngsters who’ve made memories during the summers. Some of those have gone on to professional careers – some have returned to make Sylvan their home or summer retreat.

Our teams have been competitive across the province. Our figure skaters have performed for many audiences over the years. How many other organizations have hosted events, used meeting rooms and gathered at the hub of our community?

We wholeheartedly support the tremendous opportunities offered by our participation in rallying our community. Nothing but good can come from the positive vibrations emanating from Sylvan Lakers and our many friends who believe, as we do, that we have a great community worth supporting. And that we can certainly prove to the country we’re deserving of the prize.

Do your part, craft your story with feeling and passion, enter the Kraft Hockeyville competition under the community name “Medican Multi-plex, Sylvan Lake, AB” and then enjoy reading and voting for the many stories being generated by our supporters. The deadline for stories is Feb. 9.