Hillmond is getting ready for a weekend full of hockey.
The community will be hosting Hockey Day in Saskatchewan from January 16 to 19 featuring several notable NHL alumni. Committee chair for the event Jill Mckenzie says proceeds from ticket and concession sales will go to renovating the Hillmond Redden Centennial Arena.
“It’s challenging for small communities to raise money to keep a big facility like an arena running and make upgrades when it’s necessary. Our boards are deteriorating so we want to fundraise right now before it becomes a safety issue.”
McKenzie says the arena is the heart of the Hillmond community and brings together over 50 families in the area.
The festivities will kick off with a charity hockey game featuring former NHL alumni including Wade Redden. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. with tickets available at the door for $10 a ticket with children 12 and under getting in for free.
The following night on January 17 will be a fundraiser banquet and cabaret at the Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association hall with Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney, Sportsnet TV analyst Marty McSorley and others.
Saturday and Sunday will be two full days of games featuring teams from different leagues including the North Battleford midget AAA male and female teams as well as the North Battleford SJHL team. The week ends with the senior Hillmond Hitmen taking on the Lashburn Flyers.
“Every year we have a Hockey Day in Saskatchewan where we have home games for every age group and it brings in a lot of families that stay all day. It generates a lot of excitement and it’s a busy day at the arena but to have something like this over four days with the support SHA which helped us create a program and allowing us to host the AAA games and SJHL games; it really helps us.”
McKenzie hopes the event will give the children a memory of what happens when a community comes together.
“We’re hoping to host a safe fun event for the community and show our kids that a small community can do a big event and have success.”
The community is also hosting an online auction which benefits the arena.