Charity tournament raises $2,500 for needy families


The Kingland Group players, in blue and the Ecole Boreale team, in white, pose together after the final game.
— Myles Dolphin/NNSL photo

The seventh-annual Hockey Charity Corporate Challenge raised $2,500 for Secret Santa, a Christmas collection for needy families. In a nail-biter finale on Dec. 9, the Kingland Group team beat Ecole Boreale by a score of 14-13.

Two other teams took part in the mini-tournament: Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) and Rowe’s Construction, which finished third and fourth respectively. 

The high-tempo games featured few whistles and lots of clowning around, such as when a bucket of pucks was thrown onto the ice near the end of the first game and players were given the opportunity to run up the score before time ran out.

Every team donated $500, while the Hay River Oldtimers pitched in $500 of their own.

Organizer Heather Coakwell said more than $25,000 has been donated to Secret Santa over the seven years, and those funds have been used to purchase a variety of things, including expensive turkeys.

It’s hard for them to get enough money, so the donation usually covers all the turkeys they have to buy,” Coakwell said.

The tournament’s history goes back to when Northern Transportation Company Ltd. (NTCL) would play NTPC in a one-off game, with the winner getting to hang their flag in the loser’s building.

One year, Kingland and Rowe’s both wanted to take part in the fun and, as a result, the challenge was born.

Edna Dow, the co-ordinator of Secret Santa, said she got the ball rolling a bit late this year, but things are slowly coming together.

It started trickling in the other day because I was late getting my faxes out this year,” she said. “She (Coakwell) really knows how to get things going. She surprises me every year.”

Dow said the funds would also help purchase other staples, such as oranges, jam, peanut butter and other essentials, to help families along during the holidays.

She added any donations would be greatly appreciated.

— Myles Dolphin