All-encompassing! Passion for hockey in our community is not about a single moment, a single event, a championship team or even hosting a NHL training camp in our small rural community. Our passion is about how hockey has shaped us, our connections, relationships, our actions, a desire to do better, to be better people, to have fun, to play together, and to be there for each other. In tough times in our history when we lost our rink due to a roof collapse and another time to a fire, our community came together to put that rink right back up so that hockey could continue to be our common denominator. Generations before us showed us our true love of hockey by their actions, our generation continues this spirit. Nowhere is our passion for hockey on display more than on the faces at the rink every single day, but the volunteer initiative, 4 years in the making, 220 page award winning book, HOCKEYTOWN PEI, The Story of Hockey in O’Leary Prince Edward Island is a very close second!
We are proud of our arena. Our ice maker has been making ice in O’Leary for 35 years and our reputation of having one of the finest sheets of ice around is quite well-known. While the not for profit board has been diligent in ensuring the ice making is always at the top of the game, after 25 years we have some much needed upgrades to bring our rink up to standards. The entryway, lobby area, canteen, viewing area and public washrooms need a total redesign and reconstruction to meet much needed accessibility and efficiency standards that will be more inclusive for all our residents and visitors. The Rink Board participates in weekly fundraisers to assist with operational costs, these must continue. Winning $100,000 would be so beneficial to improving our rink structure for safety, accessibility and efficiency. The upgrades will be an economic benefit to our community as well as we will be much better positioned to bid on hosting major tournaments and events.
In O’Leary we are a hockey crazy community. So hockey crazy that artists paint murals about our love for the game, songwriters write and sing songs about the beloved Maroons, animators make hockey cartoons about our hockey fun, we have parades to celebrate our hockey passion, we pack 1000 fans in our rink on a Saturday night Maroons game, we punch way above our weight class when hosting major events at our rink, boys play, girls play, everyone plays, volunteers make things happen and everyone has a hockey story and loves to tell their story. And yes we write books about our hockey passion. We know it's just a game, but because of the fun we have with hockey, in our hearts, it's everything to us. Our puck palace needs major upgrades and words cannot even begin to describe what having a NHL game would mean to us… O’Leary has all the right ingredients to be KRAFT HOCKEYVILLE 2017… and let's not forget folks, ketchup loves potatoes!