By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
Crowther Memorial Junior High School dropped the puck on a two-week long food drive for the Strathmore and Wheatland County Christmas Hamper Society.
The fifth annual Hockey for Hunger game took place Dec. 1 at the Strathmore Family Centre as a way to kick off a two-week food drive that ends Dec. 15.
The CMJHS hockey program displayed an intrasquad game in front of the biggest crowd to flood to the Family Centre since Game 3 of last year’s Alberta Midget Hockey League final.
The entire school, Grades 7, 8 and 9, jammed into the bleachers to watch the Grade 9 players from the hockey program hold an exhibition match. The game consisted of three 15-minute periods with enough kids on each team to form two lines.
“It’s a great way to showcase the hockey program for the entire school and parents of the community that have some time to come check it out,” said hockey program head coach Brad Huntley. “But more importantly, it’s a great way to kick start our food fundraising program we have in the school.”
The only catch was that spectators were encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to gain entry.
This year, to add a little spice to the donating process, the school pinned each of their three pods against one another, seeing which pod could raise the most food.
On the first day of competition, the school brought in 976 food items throughout the three pods.
“This is the most we’ve ever had on the first day,” said Hockey for Hunger organizer and teacher Anne Paskevich. “The hockey program likes to hold a scrimmage before the December break, so we thought it was a great idea to combine it with a food hamper drive.”
The competition is just getting started within the school, as there will be carts set up inside, accepting donations until Dec. 15.
“The community has been getting behind this project for a few years and we think it is a nice gesture around the holidays,” said Paskevich.
This marks the first of two Hockey for Hunger events this school year. As often is the case, the food hamper gets wiped out around the holiday season. To help replenish supplies, another Hockey for Hunger game will take place in late February.