The 2014 Kraft Hockeyville Committee made surprise appearance Monday night at the Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire to present Paul Ventura with a special donation.
The donation of more than $4,000 came from residuals of merchandise sales from the 2014 event.
Ventura and his team at Canadian Tire were instrumental in the sales, according to Graham Parsons.
“In 2014 when we won Hockeyville, you are allowed to sell merchandise,” said Parsons. “Paul and his staff stepped up to be the agent for the merchandise.”
The NHL donates 12 per cent back to the community from residuals and licensing fees.
Four years after Sylvan Lake won Hockeyville, the committee was told they had compiled all the money, which came out to $4,300.
Parsons said it was an unanimous vote to donate the money to Ventura and his pet project of Jumpstart.
“We chose to donate it Jumpstart which is Paul’s and Canadian Tire’s favourite charity,” Parsons said.
The committee was told in June about the money, which coincidentally was Jumpstart Month for Canadian Tire, though the committee chose a time that was a bit quieter to make the donations.
On top of the money donated from Hockeyville, the corporate office of Canadian Tire is also matching the donations, making the overall donation over $8,600.
“I am overwhelmed and absolutely shocked,” said Ventura about the spurprise donation.
Ventura said it was a great honour to be recognized by his community and is thrilled to see the money from a large event for Sylvan Lake come back and be put into the community.
The overall donation will help upwards of 80 children from the area to participate in physical sports.
He says the money will help pay for equipment, registration and classes for those who may be unable to participate otherwise.
“It means so much to me, to be help youth in sports. It’s something that is close to my heart,” Ventura said.
“Since I opened the store here we started with a small chapter [of Jumpstart] and we have been able to help quite a few kids.”
Venture is also being recognized in two weeks as the number one community leader in Canada from Canadian Tire.
He was chosen out of all the Canadian Tire stores in Canada for this honour and will be travelling to Ottawa to receive the award.
“It is a great honour, it really is. But, I couldn’t have done it without my staff,” he said.
When choosing where to put the money from Hockeyville, Parsons said there was never any doubt it should go to Jumpstart.
He called it a “no brainer.”
“Everything they do for Sylvan Lake and the youth here, it is amazing. There wasn’t any doubt where the money should go,” Parsons said.
“I really love Sylvan Lake it is a great place and the people are amazing. I’m lucky to call it my home,” said Ventura.