Mitford Pond will be buzzing with action in ten days time as the 11th annual Kimmett Cup gets underway.
Beginning Friday night (February 8) at 6 pm and running through until Sunday afternoon (February 10), at least 52 teams will lace up skates to compete in a 3 on 3 pond hockey tournament in memory of Lindsay Leigh Kimmett.
Organizer, Reid Kimmett, says they plan to build upon the momentum and success the event has brought to the community of Cochrane over the years. "We are continuing on what has been built in the first ten years. We do have room for a couple more teams and it's a way to remember my sister, play hockey, create memories with family, and raise money for a good cause while we are doing so."
If you have never attended a Kimmett Cup before, Reid shares it is a unique event in the way that it is a coed tournament and allows for different age groups to play together. As an observer, you will see parents playing alongside their children, brothers and sisters passing the puck between each other, and a girl on the ice at all times. "It is a largely just a really fun atmosphere and beyond that, we are raising money for a couple of children's charities to improve the lives of children in need."
Looking to raise between $150,000 to $200,000 in support of the Children's Wish Foundation and Children's Cottage Society, Reid says the connections they have been able to make as a family, with other families in need, has been invaluable. "To get to see and feel the impact this has made has been incredible for us as a family, as organizers of the event, and even for the participants that have been part of it too. It has always been important to us that our donation isn't just a drop in the bucket for the charities that we pick."
Money raised from the event largely comes from individual fundraising efforts, shares Reid. "We have online fundraising pages that people can set up and that could be anyone from participants, to volunteers, or someone that just thinks it is a cool idea that they want to support."
Other monies come from corporate sponsorship, registration proceeds, donations, food and alcohol sales, as well as proceeds from the evening Saturday banquet, which is open to the community-wide. "The banquet will start roughly around 5 pm at the Lions Event Centre and it's open to people from the public. If that's how they would like to come and participate we would be overjoyed to have them attend. There will be some speeches, videos, and a live and silent auction there."
New this year, making the pond hockey tournament even more 'Canadian', is the addition of an outdoor beer garden. "We are still working out some of the hours and the logistics but we're going to have an onsite beer garden operated by Half Hitch at the ponds this year, which we've never done. I think it will feel pretty Canadian having a cold beer outside on a winter day while playing a little hockey."
If hitting the ice is not for you but you would still like to be involved, you can sign up to volunteer at www.kimmettcup.com
The annual pond hockey tournament born from a tragic event has grown exponentially year after year and continues to be one of our community's favourites. "The energy and enthusiasm from participants and volunteers continue to drive the whole event. People continue to be excited about it, they continue to have a passion for Lindsay and what she was about, as well as our family. So we are happy continuing to put the effort in and enjoy the spirit of the days."
Lindsay Leigh Kimmett was killed in a tragic vehicle collision on February 17th, 2008; with continued support and effort from the Kimmett family, friends, volunteers and the entire Cochrane community, an incredible 2.4 million dollars has been raised through the Lindsay Leigh Kimmett Memorial Foundation. To read more on the foundation and Lindsay, go HERE.