It wasn’t hard to say ‘yes’ to Toby James’ ask at Committee of the Whole in Perth, June 5.
James spoke to council forthrightly and asked that the initial fee for the Docs on Ice Tournament, slated for March 28-30, 2019, be waived.
He had some persuasive arguments: first, “every nickel will go to local charities,” then he spoke of the camaraderie, and finally the sportsmanship of the event.
“Over 1,000 doctors will be arriving on the weekend, there will be 125 hockey games,” he said, and further explained that on any given day the teams would use from seven to nine hours of ice time. This translates from $2,500 to $3,000, according to Shannon Baillon, Director of Community Services.
James described the tournament as starting way back in 1983 and since that time has benefitted local charities in local communities; annually, over $100,000 is raised. In 2019, the Perth Enrichment Program for Older Adults, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Lanark County Therapeutic Riding Program will be beneficiaries.
The Docs on Ice, Sons of Lanark tournament is asking for ice time and arena fees to be waived, as well as the use of event equipment such as tables, chairs and garbage cans, and is looking for support from the community.
Baillon said the ice usually goes out April 1 and ice is not “normally booked at that time.”
Mayor Fenik was visibly delighted with the proposal. “Proceeds are going to charity,” he said, counting off the reasons why this would be good for Perth, “doctors would be introduced to the area, and finally, we’re not displacing anyone.
“I move to waive the fees.”
Councillor Boldt agreed adding the tournament would “support tourism,” Councillor Brown was in favour, as was Councillor McPherson who said in 1995 he played with the team. He suggested, as this was happening next year, it could be part of the budget deliberations for 2019. Councillor Turner agreed as well.