Since Friday, Jan. 5 the whole country has known that Smiths Falls has a great peewee hockey team.
On that day, as Canada defeated Sweden in the World Junior Hockey gold medal game, the announcement was made on live TV that the Smiths Falls Peewee Bears have been chosen as semi-finalists for the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup.
And now, they need the community’s help to win it.
For the team to progress further toward the cup – the final winner will be announced in March – the team is asking the community to visit the Chevrolet Youtube channel and view the one-minute video they submitted for the contest.
Each view will be counted as a vote for the Bears. Voting stars on Jan. 15 and runs until Jan. 28.
There are 10 teams in the semi-finals. The three teams with the most views will become the finalists, and those teams will be announced on Feb. 4.
“There is a huge role for public support, starting on Monday,” said team manager Tina Hughes.
Just three teams were chosen as semi-finalists out of 136 submissions from across the country for the Good Deeds Cup. The competition, now in its second year, recognizes peewee hockey plays for their contributions to the community.
Hughes said she first thought of entering the contest after seeing an online video on the Upper Canada Hockey website. The team’s head coach, Keith Rhoden, agreed it would be a good idea.
Hughes said the process of entering the competition, which requires submitting a short video, “wasn’t an easy task.”
A group of hockey moms got together and decided the team’s charity of choice should be the Salvation Army and its local food and toy drives. Unlike other local causes that enjoy a higher profile and a wider base of support, said Hughes, the Salvation Army was in need of more volunteers.
The 11 and 12-year-old Peewee Bears rose to the challenge and volunteered to man Christmas kettles, and solicited the support of other team in the area for a food drive. “We couldn’t believe how much food we collected in one day,” said Hughes.
On Dec. 8 the team collected and packed teddy bears for the Salvation Army’s toy drive at a “Teddy Bear Toss” during a Junior Bears game.
The players’ volunteer work also included serving food to the needy at the Salvation Army’s Christmas luncheon on Nov. 24. The young volunteers donated their time on a day they were home from school due to a professional development day. “It was so moving for me to watch them do it,” said Hughes. “The kids said they would have been bored at home, and that this was a really cool experience.”
Thanks to the Bears making the semi-finals of the Good Deeds Cup, the Salvation Army will be receiving a $2,000 cheque from Chevrolet.
On Monday, we will be posting the video to our website with the hopes that everyone will watch it — lots of times!