Central Bedeque eagerly await Saturday’s Kraft Hockeyville announcement

Colin MacLean
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Dave MacDonald, along with Duane and Jessica MacDonald, have worked long and hard to keep the arena in Central Bedeque open this season. They’re hoping that their participation in the Kraft Hockeyville competition will help secure the rink’s future. File photo

CENTRAL-BEDEQUE – One way or another, the Bedeque and Area Recreation Centre will learn its financial fate this Saturday.

That’s when the list of communities in the Kraft Hockeyville 2014 competition will be cut down to the long-list of 16 finalists.

Even a partial win in the annual nationwide event (the 16 get at least $25,000 each) would be invaluable for the cash-strapped community facility.

That urgency has made the wait up until now near to excruciating, said Dave MacDonald, vice-chairman of the rec centre’s governing committee.

“It’s exciting. But it’s been a month since they closed the nomination process, so it’s been a long time to sit and wait,” said MacDonald.

The winner of Kraft Hockeyville not only receives a $100,000 fund to upgrade their arena, they also get a 2014-2015 NHL pre-season game and a feature on CBC–TV.

Since the Journal Pioneer first reported on the Bedeque and Area Recreation Centre’s story in early February, how it was saved from closure by a dedicated new steering committee and its hopes for the Hockeyville competition, MacDonald said the outpouring of support has been tremendous.

And not just from within Central Bedeque and neighbouring Bedeque, communities he added, but from all over P.E.I.

“We even had to set up a Twitter account for the rink just because there was that much interest,” he said.

In appreciation of all this support, the rink is holding a community party this Sunday, March 9.

The main event will be Sunday at the rink, from 2 - 4 p.m. and will consist of remarks from the organizing committee and community leaders, as well as a free skate. There will also be a memorabilia room set up with items from the rink’s years of history.

If they don’t get picked to continue farther into the Hockeyville competition, this gathering will be a way to thank everyone in the community for their support and have a bit of fun.

If they do end up continuing, it will doubly serve as a community voting station so people can vote for the town to make the next cut. There will be plenty of laptops and tablet computers available for people to vote on.

But win or lose, MacDonald said the process has injected new life into the rink, giving him hope that their otherwise worrisome financial situation will be resolved, one way or another.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

@JournalPMacLean

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  • Kellee MacKenzie
    March 07, 2014 - 15:15

    I grew up skating at this rink every weekend! Either on a Friday afternoon when the Central Bedeque School bussed us all down to the rink for our skate or at night, when everyone gathered to skate. I sure hope you win!

  • chris dawson
    March 06, 2014 - 22:22

    go bedeque