KAWARTHA LAKES-The village of Bobcaygeon is making a final push to be crowned the winner of Kraft Hockeyville.
The streets are lined with signs urging people to vote, old hockey memorabilia and displays commemorating a love of the game.
Bobcaygeon is one of four finalists in the competition in which the winner will receive $250,000 for their arena and the chance to host an NHL game. Bobcaygeon is the only Ontario community still in the running!
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan says, “Bobcaygeon is passionate about hockey and our local arena brings us together as fans, friends, family and ultimately as a community. To keep the game alive in our community, the arena needs accessibility upgrades to ensure that all players, regardless of age, gender or ability, are able to access the facility. Winning Kraft Hockeyville 2021 is a shot at opening the doors to new generations of hockey players and fans.”
Local resident Ann Adare has been instrumental in the nomination of Bobcaygeon for Kraft Hockeyville and helped rally the community to get to the final four.
“Our community is known for its heart. Even our slogan, ‘Three Islands, One Heart’ speaks to how we come together. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bobcaygeon was hit hard with a devastating outbreak and the death of 28 residents at Pinecrest Nursing Home. Lockdowns also meant our businesses were shuttered, dealing a particularly difficult blow to a town relying on summer tourism. Kawartha Lakes raised $190,000 that has gone back into the community to help support Bobcaygeon and area patients, families and health care workers in need of food, supplies, transportation and mental wellness counselling. This effort has left our community tapped out, leaving questions around how to fund the needed arena updates. I’m glad this time we can come together for a happier purpose – a Hockeyville win would ensure that the arena can remain a place that welcomes everyone,” shared Adare.
Many players from Bobcaygeon have gone on to play in various levels of hockey with the Peterborough Petes, in the OHL and the NHL. Generations of hockey fans will recognize those who originated in Bobcaygeon; the likes of Roly Kimble, Geof Ingram, Paul Grills, Joe Junkin, Noah Sedore and Allan Stanley. More recently, Brady Austin played for the Cleveland Monsters and was named to the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic as a replacement for Dean Kukan.
With the help of the hockey lovers across the province, enough votes on April 9 and 10 could mean even more players will go on to fame.
NHL legend Allan Stanley spent ten years with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he was named one of the team’s alternate captains and went on to win four Stanley Cups in the 1960s while paired with Tim Horton on defense. Stanley finished off his career playing for the Philadelphia Flyers during 1968–69. In 1,244 NHL regular season games, he scored 100 goals, 333 assists for a total of 433 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981.
In the late 1960s, Stanley and his wife fell in love with Bobcaygeon on vacation and purchased a resort on Sturgeon Lake. They later opened Allan Stanley’s Beehive Resort and Hockey School, hosting up to 137 players at the overnight camp each summer. Later, an estate subdivision was built on a 60-acre parcel of the property and Stanley and his wife reside there today.
With close to 500 residential homes planned over the next few years, Bobcaygeon’s arena is aiming to rise to the growing demand of young families. Hockeyville’s grand prize of $250,000 will help make the arena accessible for the generations that call it home, while encouraging young families to choose Bobcaygeon as their future home.
Incorporated in 1876, surrounded by water, Bobcaygeon has had lake rinks since the rules of hockey came to be in 1875. Generations have learned team building, social skills and a true sense of community by playing and then coaching the game. Parents and grandparents now cheer in an arena built by volunteers with funds they raised ($100,000 in 1955 equating to $1 million today). There is deep sense of pride in that accomplishment.
There are many generations of hockey families in Bobcaygeon, like Alda Kimble who cheered on her own 7 sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren, earning her 50-year pin and free admission, coinciding with the arena’s 50th anniversary. She went on to be Citizen of the Year for her work with local children.
Click here to VOTE: http://www.krafthockeyville.ca
Voting started April 9th and runs until 5pm on April 10th. You can vote more than once.