It’s time to party, Chatham-Kent!



Congratulations on the Chatham Hockeyville folks, and the people who voted, for getting Chatham-Kent into the final two for the Kraft Hockeyville contest.

We went up against North Saanich, B.C. Voting ended Monday at midnight.

Both communities will receive $100,000 in arena upgrades, but the winner also gets to host an NHL preseason hockey game.

The top community is to be announced Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada.

If you want to be in on the party Saturday, head to Memorial Arena. The house will be rocking, by the sounds of it.

According to Chatham Hockeyville committee member Dennis Parker, there will be a three-on-three road hockey tournament, hockey fitness clinic, skills competition, music playing throughout the day, and everyone can watch a big screen inside the rink in the evening when the winning community is announced.

Brooklyn Roebuck, Face 4 Radio and The Chasers will keep the tunes cranking.

Chatham Mazda from Chatham Voice on Vimeo.

The road hockey tournament is a throwback effort. Don’t bother coming as a team, because after-school rules are in effect.

“Bring your sticks. We’ll put them in a big pile and choose them that way,” Parker said, referring to the unbiased and random method of tossing hockey sticks into separate piles to choose teams.

CBC will also be on hand, shooting the festivities for broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada.

Parker said the committee asks that people who come to Saturday’s festivities to bring a Kraft food item as a donation to Outreach for Hunger.

Chatham-Kent may just be the online voting king of Canada. We did it with Monopoly, landed a TSN broadcast in Wallaceburg, and now reached the top two for Hockeyville.

It’s somewhat ironic, actually. Many folks will say we are overflowing with negativity in this community, especially in terms of online commenting on various local media sites, particularly the ones that let people hide behind anonymous screen names. But we seem to also have incredible community support and spirit. When there is a cause that needs championing, people come out in massive force to do so.

That’s pretty incredible and humbling. It’s something of which we should all be proud.

As for the naysayers, I don’t think we have more than most any other community. Just look at other media sites in other cities. It’s pretty nasty stuff when people don’t have to back up their remarks with their name. That’s certainly not unique to Chatham.

What causes me to shake my head is when people are still saying Chatham gets everything and the outlying communities get nothing. I saw a social media post saying the person voted for another rink because of that mindset.

Wow. I live in Chatham and voted repeatedly for Wallaceburg to land the TSN broadcast. I think a heck of a lot of Chathamites did the same thing.

I chair the Relay For Life in Chatham this year, as I did in 2014. The provincial arm of the Canadian Cancer Society decided to fold the Wallaceburg Relay back into Chatham (it started this way more than a decade ago) for this year. That irked some folks from Wallaceburg to the point they’ll go all the way to Blenheim for the Relay event there rather than come to Chatham, because Chatham gets everything.

I don’t care if they go to Blenheim, as long as they continue to support the event and the Cancer Society. That’s the important part. But I don’t understand the thought process. This was a decision made in Toronto, not one made by the local Cancer Society staff, and especially not by municipal council.

I just hope nobody stops taking part in Relay due to this mindset.


Dance, dance, dance


Well, dance competition season opened for the Corcorans – specifically our daughter – on the weekend.

She spent Saturday at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre at the Inspire competition, taking part in six dances during the day.

As a dance dad, my support duties are typically little more than cheerleader and gopher. With a 13-year-old daughter, that meant heading home to find things she’d forgotten to pack with her costumes.

Mary has the tougher job – hair and makeup. Those quick changes between dances are quite taxing.

As for the girl, well I guess the dancing is taxing as well.

I lasted for four of the six dances. The music, especially the repetition, gets to me after a while. And someone had to go home and barbecue dinner, right?

It was a tough task, but I worked my way through it.

But it would be nice if the weather was just a little warmer. I am tired of sub-zero barbecuing temperatures. Bring on the heat. Or at least seasonal temperatures, because 10C (50 F) would seem downright balmy to me right about now!



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