Or­ga­niz­ers pull plug on pond hockey

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

BY SEAN BRAY Sports Edi­tor The Beaver Swamp three-on­three fundrais­ing hockey tour­na­ment is no more, at least for now, as or­ga­niz­ers have put the an­nual event on “in­def­i­nite hia­tus.”

The tour­ney be­gan in the win­ter of 2011, held on the frozen Beaver Swamp, which is lo­cated on the Belle­feuille fam­ily prop­erty, west of Alexan­dria.

By 2013, it had grown to be a com­mu­nity fundraiser, with the goal of sub­si­diz­ing the cost of hockey for those in need.

As Richard Belle­feuille notes, over the years the event has helped 20 com­mu­nity fam­i­lies, in part­ner­ship with the lo­cal chap­ter of Jump­start Char­i­ties.

“Our goal [for the tour­na­ment] was to or­ga­nize a fun-filled day of good hockey and ac­tiv­i­ties, and in re­turn we’d be able to use the funds to­wards putting smiles on kids’ faces.”

The 2013 tour­na­ment raised suf­fi­cient funds to cover the costs for a young­ster to reg­is­ter with Alexan­dria mi­nor hockey, get new hockey equip­ment, par­tic­i­pate in a hockey school, and re­ceive an NHL jersey of his favourite player.

The fol­low­ing year, with the event rais­ing more funds, or­ga­niz­ers were able to spon­sor and out­fit one player, as well as pro­vid­ing an ad­di­tional fam­ily with free mi­nor hockey regis­tra­tion.

In 2015, the size of the tour­ney jumped, along with an in­crease in the num­ber of volunteers and sup­port from spon­sors. There was also a sig­nif­i­cant bump in funds raised.

This trend con­tin­ued the next win­ter, when a Lit­tle Beavers rink was added, to keep young- sters en­ter­tained for the day.

In 2017, the event ex­panded to open and rec. di­vi­sions, and be­gan its part­ner­ship with Jump­start.

The win­ter of 2018 saw the tour­na­ment, hav­ing out­grown its home, moved to the Mill Pond.

Re­flect­ing on the ex­pe­ri­ence, Belle­feuille ex­plains, “Our team of volunteers worked tire­lessly to en­sure that all as­pects of the event were ready for tour­na­ment day.” End­ing the tour­ney “was a very tough de­ci­sion to make. Think­ing back to all the work, the hours, the fun, and of course the volunteers, play­ers, fans, part­ners, and spon­sors who made this tour­na­ment pos­si­ble, it’s sad that it has come to an end. But to know that we’ve made a dif­fer­ence in the lives of so many fam­i­lies from our won­der­ful com­mu­nity, that will be some­thing we’ll cher­ish for­ever.”

Beaver Swamp Hockey toques, scarves, mugs, and pucks were pro­duced over the years, as sou­venirs, but de­spite the an­nounce­ment of the end, Belle­feille adds, “We might be back one day.”

On Tues­day, Nov. 20, the Ladies In­vi­ta­tional Bon­spiel was held at the Lan­caster and District Curl­ing Club. Rinks from Alexan­dria, Prescott, Mor­ris­burg, Van­kleek Hill, Orm­stown, and two from Cornwall, joined a home team in the event.

The squad from Orm­stown, Que­bec, skipped by Lyne Lam­brou, was the over­all win­ner. Team mem­bers in­cluded third Is­abelle Coté, sec­ond Cyn­thia Bolduc, and lead Vi­viane Lalonde. The Cornwall team skipped by Ann Bruni fin­ished as run­ner-up. Thanks go out to Barbara McIntosh, from Rob McIntosh in Lan­caster, for spon­sor­ing the prizes for the ladies; the beau­ti­ful pon­chos and scarves were loved by all.

Co-or­di­na­tor of the event, Gisèle Ko­rac, would like to thank all the away teams for their con­tin­ued sup­port and all club mem­bers who gave of their time to make this day a very en­joy­able one.

Se­nior ‘A’ Prowlers on home ice Satur­day

The Cornwall Prowlers se­nior ‘A’ hockey team is sched­uled to be back in ac­tion Satur­day, Dec. 8, host­ing the Mani­waki Forestiers. The game will be played at Cornwall’s multi-sport com­plex, at 8 p.m.

Sit­ting in fourth place in the six-team LHSAO, the Prowlers en­ter this week sport­ing a record of 3 wins and 5 losses, along with a -10 goal dif­fer­en­tial.

The ros­ter in­cludes county hockey play­ers Adam Wensink, Jesse Fon­taine, and Pierre-Luc Sabourin.

Jr. ‘A’ Colts on three-game win streak

Cornwall’s ju­nior ‘A’ Colts of the CCHL are cur­rently rid­ing a three­game win streak, fol­low­ing a 2-1 over­time vic­tory ver­sus Brockville, a 4-3 shootout tri­umph against Kemptville, and a 4-3 clip­ping of Kanata. The Colts are fourth in the Yz­er­man Divi­sion (16-13-3-1). Wil­liamstown’s Ethan Mul­hearn is amongst the tops in team points, with 19 in 33 games played. Ben Dir­ven, who hails from Bainsville, checks in with 15, while Alexan­dria’s Jeremy Ques­nel has 14.

Look­ing ahead, the Colts are booked to play to­day, Dec. 5 in Rock­land, and then on home ice at the Cornwall Civic Com­plex to­mor­row at 7:30 p.m., when the boys will host the Hawkes­bury Hawks.

FROM EVENT

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