Fifth year for minor hockey food drive

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November 27, 2014 9:14 AM

The prize for the most food could be a trip to Edmonton, but the real prize in the food drive is the stocked shelves that will come from the thousands of pounds Lloydminster Minor Hockey helps gather. - Andrew Brethauer Photo

Boundary Ford may pick one lucky team to attend the Edmonton Oilers home game on Feb. 28 for an experience of a lifetime, but it is the Lloydminster Salvation Army that is the real winner of the fifth annual food drive.

Lloydminster Minor Hockey kicked off its food drive last Wednesday at Boundary Pre-Owner and Motorsports, as 12 teams will compete for a chance to not only watch the Oilers take on the St. Louis Blues at Rexall Place, but will also play a scrimmage hockey game during the first intermission of the NHL game.

It’s a victory for everyone involved, as the Salvation Army will have their shelves stocked heading into Christmas. This drive is something that Boundary Ford has supported since the beginning, and this year was no different in wanting to give back to the community.

“Anytime we can give back to the community in a meaningful way, especially when we can affect so many people, it’s such a good thing,” said A.J. Abbas, general manager for Boundary Ford. “Obviously the community of Lloydminster supports Boundary Ford, and I want to continue in the tradition of the previous owners and just give back to the community that supports us.”

In previous years, over 29,000 pounds of food have been collected, and over the past four years, it is estimated that over 60,000 pounds have been donated total. For Lloydminster Minor Hockey, it tells them that their players have their hearts where they belong, and the community organization is more than willing to help in a time of need.

But as well, the players are going to have a lifelong experience, and while giving back is the main focus of the food drive, winning the trip to Edmonton is a close second for the lucky players.

“The kids are going to have a tremendous lifetime experience,” said Darrell Wagner, general manger of Lloydminster Minor Hockey. “I can imagine for those kids to be on that ice that the Stanley Cup has been skated on, it’s going to be tremendous.

“The whole idea of doing this to give to the food bank is important. The gravy is going on the ice to be with the Oilers.”

For the Food Bank, the donations over the month means they get weekly additions to their shelves. While the message for the minor hockey players may not be totally understood yet at a young age, seeing the fun the players have and the collective effort of everyone involved is great for the Food Bank.

“This food drive is amazing, not only do we get huge supply for the Food Bank to fill up our shelves again, but the little guys have so much fun doing it to,” said Shannon Weinberger, community service worker with the Food Bank.

“This is a huge one because it brings in the parents, the hockey players and the community. One team last year went door to door. I don’t know if they get totally what they are doing, but it is fun.”

Donations will be accepted until Dec. 18, and can be dropped off at Boundary Pre-Owned and Motorsports into one of the 12 bins available for each team.

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