As Lori T of Princeton put it, “Princeton takes a licking but keeps on ticking!”
A major flood last fall caused the Okanagan town upwards of $50 million in damages and led to evacuations and a boil water advisory. It came just two years after many locals had to leave their homes due to a large forest fire outside of town. During these disasters, the first thing the residents want to know is “How can I help” – and they meant it.
“We are here for each other and when one family is hurting, others are there to help,” wrote Lori on Princeton’s Kraft Hockeyville page.
Now Princeton is counting on you to help them win Kraft Hockeyville.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League community is among the four finalists, and only Western Canadian community, in the competition vying for $250,000 that would help repair the Princeton and District Arena. In order to make it through the 2021/22 hockey season, the arena roof had to be patched with tarps held down by tires to prevent leaks.
Princeton resident and Posse board member Sean McHaffie, who has pushed hard to give Princeton a chance in the contest, said his community has had it tough the last few months and “winning Kraft Hockeyville is a chance to bring a little sunshine to troubled times.”
“It literally only takes a couple of minutes to register and vote,” he said. “The arena is the anchor for our community. Please vote and let’s bring something positive to our community.”
You can vote for Princeton by clicking on this link: https://www.krafthockeyville.ca/#/community/princetondistrictarena
McHaffie said he believes there are quite a few people who don’t even know about Kraft Hockeyville.
“During the lead up to the final four, you could see more and more people getting into it and getting excited,” he said. “Now that we’ve made the top four, people don’t need any prodding. They’re now genuinely excited and sharing and posting on social media. It’s great to see. It’s brought the community together around a common cause like never before.”
Princeton Posse General Manager Mark McNaughton said until the final four were announced, everyone in Princeton was hopeful. Once they reached the final four, it took off.
“The excitement has certainly flourished,” he said.
The Princeton and District Arena was a focus of the town to put money into repairing its badly leaking roof, then last fall’s devastating flood happened and changed everything. The Town of Princeton sustained upwards of $50 million in damages.
“To have an opportunity to possibly get some funding through Hockeyville is great and just the recognition of our community and the young kids who are using our arena constantly and the families who spend as much time as they do there,” said McNaughton. “It was a good opportunity to apply for something and get some public recognition and the opportunity to potentially win $250K in upgrades to help support that new roof would be amazing for the rink.”
With Kraft Hockeyville being a community award, McNaughton said it shows the community spirit and the amount of effort that is put in for the youth of their community to have the amount of hockey available to them.
“For our program specifically, we live and breathe that community spirit,” he said. “The support for hockey in our town is constant. Being a community run team, and always having volunteers, and always having families step up in the billet area, it was almost a validation piece for our program to say that his community really does support hockey. Get the recognition on the national scale that it is through this.”