The Fab Five, the committee that spearheaded O’Leary’s drive to become Kraft Hockeyville, were named the town's Volunteers of the Year this summer. They are still putting in lots of volunteer hours helping to prepare for the delivery of the NHL exhibition game part of O'Leary's prize. From left are, Dean Getson, Jo-anne Wallace, Tammy Rix, Della Sweet and Bill MacKendrick.
©Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
O’LEARY, P.E.I. – It was luck of the draw Tuesday afternoon and evening at the O’Leary Community Sports Centre.
The names of 885 people who will receive pairs of free tickets to the Kraft Hockeyville NHL exhibition game in Summerside on Sept. 25 were pulled and announced on Facebook Live.
The names of the winners are posted on the 22,000-member O’Leary Hockeyville Helpers Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1905732722981980/ and are also on display at the sports centre.
“We’re really happy for those who won, and sad for those who didn’t,” said committee member Bill MacKendrick.
The draw for tickets was conducted in three stages. There were 385 pair of tickets for residents of the greater O’Leary area, residents of the O’Leary, Coleman and Bloomfield postal districts, then 250 pair for residents of other communities in western P.E.I. and another 250 pair from a supporters drum, people from anywhere else in P.E.I. and beyond who registered for the draw.
Those who registered in any of the drums had a better than one in two chance of winning tickets, MacKendrick noted.
Getting the names drawn and the lists posted took nearly nine hours to complete, but the work still isn’t done. The tickets still have to be distributed. The Hockeyville committee has set two pick-up dates, this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and next Tuesday, September 19 from 6;30 to 9:30 p.m. at the O’Leary Community Sports Centre.
Winners must show up in person and be in possession of a valid picture i.d. There can be no exception to those rules, MacKendrick stresses.
Other than two seats side-side per envelope, MacKendrick said the committee can offer no assurances that ticket winners will end getting seats with other family members or friends.
“The beauty of that place,” he said of Summerside’s Credit Union Place, where the Ottawa Senators will face off against the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, “is there is not a bad seat in the house.”
The far end of the CUP, 555 seats, has been reserved for the Minor Hockey players and Figure Skaters, and their coaches who have already been awarded tickets.
“The important thing to remember is it’s a free ticket to a really good thing,” MacKendrick stated.
In addition to the tickets for the game, the committee drew out the names of 400 people who will win tickets to the NHL teams’ morning practices. Those tickets also need to be picked up at the O’Leary Community Sports Centre. There is no ticket pickup needed for children from West Prince who will be attending the practices with their schools.
The draw for practice tickets took the longest to complete, as individuals who won tickets for the game were not eligible for practice tickets. Each name drawn had to be cross-referenced against the game ticket list before being accepted.