When the 2004 NHL hockey lock-out happened, fans across the country were like fish out of water, not able to gain the subsidence they needed in their weekly dose of the rough and tough sport on the ice.
It was a time that was hard for any hockey fan – the lack of action of Canada’s favourite pass time was taking an effect to people all over – including Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Woodlands Department offices in Corner Brook.
Deon Hamlyn works in the department and remembers the time.
“We had a hockey pool in the office,” he said. “Every year we’d do the pool – but then in 2004, with the lock-out we had nothing – no hockey, no pool, so one of the guys suggested maybe we should have our own tournament.”
That was seven years ago, and little did they know what the simple idea of a hockey tournament would soon grow to be. This past weekend the Woodlands Department of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper hosted the seventh annual Log a Load for Kids tournament in Baie Verte.
Log A Load For Kids Canada, an initiative of the Canadian Woodlands Forum, is a national campaign through which loggers and other forest industry people donate the value of a load of logs, to local Children's Miracle Network-affiliated hospital foundations.
“In the past few years, at least with our tournament, it’s gone way beyond just a load of logs,” said Mr. Hamlyn. “People really latch on to this and we’re really excited about that.”
One hundred per cent of all contributions go to local CMN Canada hospital foundations - the proceeds from the hockey tournament this past weekend went to the Janeway Children’s Hospital.
Last year, the tournament was held in Gander and raised approximately $31,200 for contribution to the Janeway. This year, in excess of $28,000 can be added to that total, bringing the grand total to date at more than $174,000. The weekend tournament saw a total of 10 teams coming from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Woodlands’ staff, contractors and employees, employees of the Department of Natural Resources in Corner Brook and Lewisporte along with some friends play in the games.
“There’s really no winner in the tournament,” said Mr. Hamlyn. “We award prizes to the teams who raise the most money, but the real winners are the charities, and in this case, the Janeway hospital and the children.”
Dave Elms is on the board of directors with the Janeway and was in attendance this weekend to help with the festivities.
Mr. Elms told the players that Log a Load tournaments are happening all across the country, and very few have the impact of the one here in the province.
“The great thing about this is because of initiatives like this the Janeway can continue to improve on its facilities and equipment – and because of that equipment, we can save lives of children all over this province.”
Mr. Elms says he’s involved with the Janeway because his family has had personal experiences with the hospital, but also he’s seen the things they’ve done in the lives of countless children across the province.
“We need help in order to continue doing the things we do,” he said. “That’s why if there’s anyone who wants to help with their own fundraising efforts and what-not, then please, contact us, we’re open to pretty much anything.”
As for the Log a Load tournament, while it’s over for this year, it will continue on in years to come, helping to save lives, one goal at a time.