Botwood bids for Kraft Hockeyville nomination

Community out en masse to support effort

Darren Mills - Special to the Advertiser
Published on February 8, 2016

Kraft Hockeyville is many things for many people but for the people of Botwood and the surrounding area it is a means to an end.

With the minor hockey organization putting together a bid to become Kraft Hockeyville and supporters ranging from the hockey players, the figure skating club, the fire department and the families and fans of hockey in Botwood, the community was able to make a splash Thursday evening.

The successful nominee in the Kraft Hickeyville nation-wide competition receives a NHL pre-season game a $100,000 in arena upgrades. Second prize is $100,000 in arena upgrades and third place receives $25,000 in arena upgrades.

A large crowd was out at the Harry Ivany Arena to show support for the nomination to reach the primary round shows.

Hockey has a rich history in Botwood and success in this competition would help the tradition continue. Some of the players are not interested in what the money can do to the arena but the NHL hockey game that would come with the win. Other players have said they wanted more equipment to have to use and others would like to see a loan fund of equipment for people who can’t afford the high cost of hockey equipment.

One person involved in the Minor Hockey Association, Michelle Elliott, who has a special reason to see Botwood win the Kraft Hockeyville prize money. Her Brother Paul Butler who loves hockey as many do is unable to stand up and walk up the flights of stairs to reach the room for fans and parents to watch the hockey and other events in the stadium in a warm comfortable area. Butler,l along with many more in the Botwood area, love the arena but find the cold in a wheelchair a bit too much and thus miss out on many tournaments and ice shows.

The wish list for the arena is to fit a lift or elevator to the warm room also known to many as the curling room. As with any renovation on this grand a scale the room itself would need some improvements and configuring for wheelchairs including widened doors.

In Botwood all you have to do is tell them ‘no you can’t do’ something and the people rally behind the cause and where there is a will there is a way to get it done.

The Kraft Hockeyville nomination is just the first step in the process of making the wish of Butler and many more people to be there to experience a son or daughter or even a grandson or granddaughter scoring their first goal or earning a shutout.

So win or lose the Kraft Hockeyville nomination, it will not stop the Botwood Minor Hockey Association from trying again and again to make improvements.