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Charitable warmth of Ethan Allard Hockey Tournament

By Celina Ip

PEMBROKE - 

PETAWAWA – Ethan Allard’s love of hockey inspired a full three-day weekend of charitable play.

 

From Feb. 16 to 18, the first annual Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Tournament (EAMHT) livened up the Petawawa Civic Centre as families and friends played Canada’s favourite game, while honouring Ethan’s memory and raising funds for charity.

“All of our 12 children have just come together like never before to make this tournament a reality – and it’s just a dream come true,” said Linda Allard, Ethan’s mom. “I’m just praising God for all of this and I know that Ethan is watching us from heaven and smiling down at us, that’s for sure.”

As Ethan’s two greatest passions were playing hockey and helping kids, his family chose to donate $6,000 of the tournament’s proceeds to Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart charity.

“Ethan’s favourite quote ‘you never get poor by giving’ is just living on through this tournament as the whole idea about this is to give back to kids so they can play hockey and other sports,” said Linda.

During the tournament’s Friday night opening ceremonies, Ethan’s parents – Linda and Shane Allard – presented the Canadian Tire and Jumpstart representatives with the $6,000 donation.

“There's going to be children out there watching this tournament saying ‘I can play now’ because there's money and resources coming,” said Linda.

With Jumpstart matching that amount, a total of $12,000 will help support Renfrew County kids’ dreams of playing hockey and other sports.

“Last year alone, the Renfrew County chapter of Jumpstart raised $70,400 to help 753 kids in our community,” said Rick Johnson, owner of Canadian Tire Pembroke. “Now, with this $12,000, we’ll already be able to help 60 kids in 2018 – as it averages out to about $200 per kid to enrol them in a sport and cover equipment costs.”

The opening ceremonies also featured a rousing rendition of ‘O Canada’ by the Petawawa Military Wives Choir and a blessing by Rev. James Beanish.

“I’m friends with Justin Allard and they’re a great family and it's a great foundation that they’re raising money for, so I thought we could put our voices towards it because who doesn’t like hearing ‘O Canada’ at a hockey game,” said Kimberly Glandon, president of the Petawawa Military Wives Choir.

Along with the talents provided by the choir, Linda expressed that the tournament received immense financial and moral support from a number of friends, businesses and local groups – all of which her family is tremendously grateful for.

“The giving from our community is incredible and it’s brought us so much joy,” said Linda. “We knew that we lived in a community full of love but this amount of kindness is just tearing at our heartstrings and it truly feels like our community is just one big family.”

Following the opening ceremony, the Petewawa Redskins and Petawawa Patriots faced off during the first game of the open division, followed by Team USA and GasTanks who launched the first game of the recreational division.

With eight teams in each division, every team was guaranteed a total of three games as they competed in the round-robin-style tournament over the course of the weekend.

By Sunday night, the final championship games took place for both divisions.

The Blues were crowned the winners of the recreational B division while The Wild Emus achieved glory in the recreational A division. For the open division, the ultimate victor was The Petawawa Indians.

All three winning teams were presented with EAMHT trophies for their respective divisions, with the players’ names to be engraved on the trophies in the coming days.

cip@postmedia.com 



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