Heads should be held high today in Bedeque.
The small Island community and its many supporters finished just shy of making it to Kraft Hockeyville’s final pairing. At the end of voting on the weekend the Island contender for the contest received 1,403,259 votes in the Kraft Hockeyville semi-final, but the Credit Union Centre in Kingston, N.S., was able to draw 1,472,836 to become eastern Canads’s finalist.
The result was reported at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, during the Hockey Night In Canada broadcast.
The small town in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley will now square off against the Medican Multi-plex in the final showdown for the $100,000 grand prize.
But all is not lost here on the Island, as a final four contestant, the Bedeque and Area Recreation Centre will take home $50,000 for the semi-final finish.
Local volunteers are very proud of the result, no small feat for such a small community, and organizer David MacDonald is quick to credit the many volunteers and others from across the Island and elsewhere who helped make the vote so close.
The new money will be well spent at the aging facility. Unfortunately for those looking to see, the results will not be visible to most visitors as the most pressing needs are mechanical and out of the public eye.
The first thing to be replaced is the brine pump and the pipes that lead to that brine pump. Not to be forgotten is the condenser on the roof; part of the plant that has to be replaced. It doesn’t end there. MacDonald says the volunteers that run the complex also need a new hot water heater in the Zamboni room.
"The sad part of this whole thing is the public is going to come in next year, and most of the (improvements) are going to be in the background, where it's all locked up, and people aren't going to see it,” explained MacDonald.
But it likely won’t matter to those who voted. Most did it to help those who needed it and will be proud that their efforts did not go unrewarded. It’s a credit to Island spirit and to the hard work of the volunteers at the BARC.
And clearly MacDonald and Co. are not settling for a semi-final finish. He says the facility will try again next year and the year after that if necessary.
But for now, perhaps those of us that supported Bedeque could turn our efforts toward helping our neighbours in Nova Scotia as they battle the west.
Who knows, we might need them to do the same next year.