A pee-wee hockey team from a Northern Manitoba community has won a national competition for performing the best charitable action.
The Pas Huskies won $15,000 for the charity of their choice as part of the Good Deeds Cup competition.
Assistant coach Jerome Conaty said in early November the team already planned on cooking and serving a meal at Oscar’s Place, a local homeless shelter that fell on hard times. Chevrolet – the sponsor of the competition – found out about that and contacted the team to encourage them to enter the competition by submitting a one minute video profiling the good deed they were performing in their community.
“The potential was to get $2,000, $5,000 or $15,000 for the charity we partner with,” Conaty said. “We had nothing to lose and we were planning on doing this regardless, so we contacted a local videographer to shoot the video for us and we submitted it.”
Conaty said he recently spoke with people from Oscar’s Place and said they’re going to use the money to buy kitchen utensils, furniture and sleeping cots. He said at the moment people who use their services sleep on rolled up blankets on the floor.
“They’re funded by Manitoba Housing so they scrape by operationally,” Conaty said. “Cots are a big one for them.”
Conaty said winning isn’t everything, but for the kids, getting this recognition is important because it shows them the importance of helping others.
“Oscar’s Place is struggling and I think a big thing for these kids is to learn the importance of doing good things for one another,” Conaty said. “It wasn’t easy for them, going to the shelter definitely put them out of their comfort zone, but this type of contest shows them they can make an impact and it’s neat they can get recognized for that.”
Conaty said throughout the contest, they had support from neighbouring communities like Thompson, Flin Flon and Swan River. He joked they usually can’t stand each other on the ice, but he was happy they helped them out.
“For this area we have a lot of economic instability so this is great for our community and our region as a whole,” he said. “The huge amount of support that came from neighbouring communities is phenomenal.”