At 30 degrees Celsius, Hockey Day in Lumby Sunday was already smoking.
It got even hotter at the end of the 90-minute function at the Pat Duke Memorial Arena when Nestlé Canada and the Western Hockey League presented Lumby Minor Hockey with a cheque for a sizzling $50,000, the result of the village’s efforts during the Delissio WHL Hockey Challenge which ran Nov. 1, 2010 to Feb. 28, 2011.
The challenge asked people from across Western Canada to submit UPC codes cut out from Delissio pizza boxes. Lumby responded by submitting 6,174 UPC codes.
“It’s not everyday I get to see such community spirit, this is amazing,” said a Delissio hockey sweater-clad Rob Carducci, assistant marketing manager for Nestlé, of the nearly 150 people who turned out inside the arena on a sweltering hot day, playing road hockey and having their shots measured for speed by an RCMP radar gun.
“The community spirit you have demonstrated today and in the challenge is something you all should be very proud of.”
Carducci and Alyson Chambers, manager of corporate partnerships for the WHL, presented a cheque for $50,000 to Lumby Minor Hockey president Tracey Williamson, vice-president Peter Romailler and and fundraising chairperson Sherry Kineshanko.
Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton and Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster were also on hand for the presentation.
While the cheque presentation drew a raucous applause from the audience, the crown nearly lifted the roof off the arena when Kineshanko, the woman who spearheaded the challenge and had everybody in the village thinking Delissio, was introduced.
“There are not enough words to express our sincere and heartfelt appreciation,” said Kineshanko to Carducci and Chambers. “Your amazing contribution will make a significant difference in the lives of many within our community.”
Lumby Minor Hockey presented Carducci with an autographed hockey stick and bestowed lifetime memberships upon him and Chambers.
The contest was based on a per capita basis, which gave Lumby a fair chance at the money.
“A contest of such magnitude allows small communities like ours to show not only our youth, but communities across Canada as well, that great things can happen when you work hard, are committed and never give up,” said Kineshanko.
“You gave the Lumby Stars a chance to shine. We are forever grateful. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
Carducci and Chambers also received a Lumby Stars minor hockey jersey.
Those would be new jerseys as the money minor hockey received from Nestlé and the WHL will go towards replacing uniforms, equipment and a storage container damaged sometime last summer.
“We opened the container at the end of the summer to get ready for the season and we discovered there had been a leak,” said Kineshanko.
“The containers stores equipment that we have donated so that kids and parents who can’t afford to play hockey have a chance, and all of the uniforms were in there as well.”