The outdoor rink next to Ponoka’s main arena complex will be the site of the first-ever 24-hour hockey game fundraiser. Submitted

24 Hour game fundraiser set for Ponoka

Event on Feb. 7 and 8 will raise funds for PMHA and KidSport

The Ponoka Minor Hockey Association (PMHA) and KidSport Ponoka are partnering up to put on the first annual 24 Hour Hockey Game, starting on Feb. 7 at 4 p.m., and going full speed until 4 p.m. on Feb. 8.

This family-friendly event will take place at the Ponoka Outdoor Rink (ODR).

“The outdoor rink is fun, different and brings out the ‘kid’ in every hockey player and in Ponoka we have a world-class rink,” said Ryan Gillespie, vice president of PMHA.

The town has approved PMHA to move indoors around 11 p.m. and play until around 8 a.m. Even if weather is alright, the game may move inside “so are good neighbors and keep noise down for nearby residents,” says Gillespie.

The idea for the day-long game came from PMHA’s past president Cam Rice, and Gillespie wanted to include KidSport.

“Many families in hockey and other sports are supported by KidSport,” he said.

“We want kids in sports to grow into future leaders and gain valuable team and life experiences. KidSport helps make that happen for those that need financial assistance.”

Organizers are hoping for 100 players split into two teams that would play four shifts each, although teams may be smaller to allow for a longer break between shifts, depending on how many players register.

If a minimum of 100 players register, that would raise at least $25,000, which would allow for a sizeable donation to KidSport and enable PMHA to keep registration fees from increasing.

“Costs to the association are increasing year over year. We are proud we have not increased fees for years as a result of fundraising.”

Admission is free with a donation to the Ponoka Food Bank so come out to watch some good old-fashioned Canadian hockey, enjoy some food and hot drinks and try your luck at the 50/50 draw and more.

Snacks will be provided to players, Time Out Zone concession in the arena will stay open until 11p.m. and Boston Pizza is bringing pizza at midnight for the players. A barbecue is planned as well.

The town will also have a fire going in the fire pit until the play moves indoors, and again when they head back out.

To play, volunteer, or to become a sponsor, contact Gillespie at 403-963-7385 or rgillespie@atb.com.

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