Hockey fundraiser participants praised

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Held Friday at Pomeroy Inn & Suites

Organizers and attendees at a local hockey fundraiser received high praise from two guys at the top of the game: Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke and Craig MacTavish, vice-president of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers.

Both men participated in a hot stove discussion during the Every Kid Every Community (EKEC) speaker series. That event, a fundraiser for minor hockey, the Olds Grizzlys and Olds College Broncos hockey, took place Friday at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites.

“Everyone always thanks us when we do these things, but thank you to the people who put the time in and get these young players to start playing and get them to the next level, and move them up the pyramid finally where they ultimately benefit. Thank you for everything you do,” Burke said.

MacTavish echoed that point.

“Life goals are very important in developing young players for us. And developing skill sets for young adults and executives is a very important part of their development and I think an integral part of the fabric of being a Canadian,” he said. “So it’s communities like this that really make us proud to be Canadian.”

Graham MacLachlan, a director of the Hockey Alberta Foundation, which organized and benefits from these fundraisers, also thanked the crowd.

“Thanks to everybody for being here,” he said. “It’s these small communities and the turnouts like this that really make hockey a success in these areas. So we just can’t thank you enough on behalf of Hockey Alberta.”

MacLaughlan said Hockey Alberta’s EKEC program raises about $500,000 a year for the kids “who fall between the cracks” to ensure they have the equipment or other assistance they need to play the game.

He said in order to do so, they work closely with the Calgary Flames Foundation and Edmonton Oilers Foundation.

“We try and fit in all the areas they don’t,” MacLaughlan said.

MacLaughlan thanked MacTavish and Burke for attending the event.

“Obviously your contribution to hockey in Canada and the United States has been second to none, and we’re just proud to have you here,” he said.

“Everyone always thanks us when we do these things, but thank you to the people who put the time in and get these young players to start playing and get them to the next level, and move them up the pyramid finally where they ultimately benefit.”
BRIAN BURKE
PRESIDENT OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS CALGARY FLAMES

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.