Normandy Officers's Mess charity hockey tournament collects items for area food banks
Tina Peplinskie/Daily Observer: Food donations were collected from participants in the Normandy Officers' Mess annual charity hockey tournament, held April 6 at the Silver Dart Arena. On hand for the presentation (from left) are Capt. Stephen Keeble, CSOR organizer; Chief Warrant Officer Mario Cote, regimental sergeant major CSOR; Lt.-Col. Andrew Vivian, commanding officer CSOR; Col. Louis Lapointe, commander 4 Canadian Division Support Group (4 CDSG); Chief Warrant Officer Tom Verner, formation sergeant major 4 CDSG; John Kilborn, St. Joseph's Food Bank Pembroke and Kandace Crosby and Rick White of the Petawawa Pantry.
GARRISON PETAWAWA – The local food banks recently received some much-needed donations thanks to officers at Garrison Petawawa and beyond.
The annual Normandy Officers's Mess charity hockey tournament, which was held April 6 at the Silver Dart Arena at Garrison Petawawa, raised about 385 kilograms of food donations for the St. Joseph's Food Bank in Pembroke and the Petawawa Pantry food bank.
As for the food donation, it was appreciated by both organizations, but it couldn't have come at a better time for the St. Joseph's Food Bank.
“Our shelves are really down right now, so this comes at the perfect time for us,” said John Kilborn, food bank vice-president. “Our Christmas stock is depleted and we're always getting new families.”
He noted that it has about 800 families on its registry and feeds 250 families a month.
“The military has always been community minded and we really appreciate the support of the various units on the base,” Kilborn said.
The marked the second year the Petawawa Pantry has received a donation from the hockey tournament and it receives regular support from the military which is appreciated, noted Yvon Serré, vice-president of the Petawawa Pantry.
He said the pantry serves about 300 families but the need continues to increase.
Each year since 2001, the tournament has been organized by different units and has attracted teams of officers from across the garrison for a day of friendly competition and bragging rights and giving back through collecting food donations, explained Capt. Stephen Keeble, tournament organizer from the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR).
Because of the current operational tempo at Garrison Petawawa, he noted the participation in this year's tournament was down, with only four teams taking part – 2 Service Battalion, CSOR, 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment and a team made up of garrison alumni that travelled from Ottawa to take part. He added the alumni team also contributed the largest donation to the food banks, which he called impressive. An entry fee is waived in lieu of food donations.
The teams played four games throughout the day, Capt. Keeble noted.
“This is a team make up for one day a year so it is a bit of a scramble,” he said. “Some people have played together but most haven't.”
At the end of the day, the hosts prevailed as Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) won the tournament.