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Kraft Hockeyville 2012

Small town throws big party for Cup, Kraft Hockeyville

Sunday, 09.30.2012 / 9:30 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2012

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

STIRLING-RAWDON, Ontario – Kraft Hockeyville 2012 is already being considered a success, but there was a time when it was nearly over before it got started.

Of all things to get this town of about 1,900 revved up for hockey, it took a couple’s wedding nuptials to get people motivated for Hockeyville.

Fans gather for the Fun Fair at the Stirling and District Recreation Centre during Kraft Hockeyville's opening day in Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario. (Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

"Our first two events, we hardly had anybody out," said Cindy Brandt, the chairperson who led the charge to bring Hockeyville here. "We had a Hockeyville wedding down at the covered bridge then we walked our 'Highway to Hockeyville’ (to the rink) as we called it. Instead of a ring, they passed a Stanley Cup and the bride promised to bring her husband and his friends beer and party snacks for Hockey Night In Canada.

"After that, people were like, 'What are these people doing?' Before we knew it, people were phoning us with, 'When’s your next event? There’s nothing on your Web site.' It just happened that way. I think people bought into it because we were doing odd things just to try to increase awareness."

The three-day event started in the morning at the Stirling & District Recreation Centre, which will receive $100,000 in upgrades thanks to winning the Hockeyville contest, with Olympic silver medalist Elizabeth Manley conducting figure-skating classes. Sunday concluded with an alumni game that featured hometown hero Rob Ray, Gary Leeman, Matthew Barnaby and Brad Marsh among others.

But for Brandt, who is Ray's sister, having the Stanley Cup on display for pictures for three hours and a parade with the trophy as the centerpiece meant the most to her.

Marsh eager to suit up for Hockeyville alumni game

Thursday, 09.27.2012 / 2:32 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2012

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Brad Marsh, the former stay-at-home defenseman who played 15 seasons in the NHL, feels he might be in better shape today than he was when his career ended at the age of 34 in 1993.

Now 54, Marsh knows his physical condition, no matter how strong it may be, isn't going to get him on the ice if his team needs a goal Sunday night during Kraft Hockeyville's celebrity/alumni game at the Stirling District Recreation Centre in Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario.

"I don't know who's coaching, but whoever it is, I guarantee I still don't get to go on the power play, even in the alumni game," said Marsh, who had 23 goals in 1,086 career games with the Atlanta/Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators.

Wilson's handprints all over Hockeyville celebration

Wednesday, 09.26.2012 / 2:35 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2012

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

The driving force behind Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario, winning this year's Kraft Hockeyville competition sadly won't be around when the small town takes part in a community-wide celebration this weekend.

Barry Wilson, who served as the arena manager at the Stirling District Recreation Centre for 25 years, died in May 2011 at the age of 60. Before his death, he worked diligently to upgrade and repair the rink that was built in 1976, but scraping together funding for such a large task proved nearly impossible.

But by winning the Kraft Hockeyville competition in March, the rink received $100,000 in upgrade money that will be put to use during an alumni/celebrity game Sunday in front of a packed house of about 3,000 fans.

Stirling-Rawdon crowned Kraft Hockeyville

Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 10:55 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2012

After weeks of campaigning, culminating with a national vote to select the winner, the town of Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario won the Kraft Hockeyville competition on Saturday night.

Stirling-Rawdon will host a preseason game this fall between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets, receive $100,000 in arena upgrade money from Kraft Canada, and enjoy a visit from CBC's Hockey Night In Canada. The Ontario town will also receive $10,000 in food bank donations from Kraft Canada.

"Great things happen when a community focuses its passion on a cause as exciting as Kraft Hockeyville," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "The National Hockey League is extremely pleased to join Kraft in supporting this outstanding program, which ensures the longevity of a neighborhood rink and creates a legacy of hockey opportunities."

Top 5 communities revealed for Kraft Hockeyville

Saturday, 03.17.2012 / 10:56 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2012

Canadian hockey fans have decided which five communities will compete for the coveted crown of Kraft Hockeyville 2012.

After a voting period that saw nearly 6 million votes cast from across the country, the results were announced Saturday night. The finalists that are continuing on the journey to be named Kraft Hockeyville 2012 and are vying for the opportunity to host a preseason game at a local arena, win $100,000 in arena upgrades courtesy of Kraft Canada, and enjoy a visit from CBC's Hockey Night In Canada are:

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (Atlantic, Mariners Centre); Amos, Quebec (Quebec, Complexe Sportif De Amos); Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario (Ontario, Stirling District Recreation Centre); Duck Lake, Saskatchewan (West, Beardy's Memorial Arena); West Kelowna, British Columbia (Pacific, Royal LePage Place).

Kraft Hockeyville nominations start Friday

Thursday, 11.17.2011 / 3:01 PM / Kraft Hockeyville 2012

The next search for Canada's most passionate hockey community starts Friday, Nov. 18, as Canadians can begin nominating their community to be chosen as Kraft Hockeyville 2012.

The winning town receives $100,000 in arena upgrades courtesy of Kraft Canada; a 2012-13 NHL preseason game played in their local community arena; and a special broadcast of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from their community.

Four runner-up communities will receive $25,000 each for arena upgrades from Kraft Canada.


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