Bentley is putting up a good fight.
While the small Central Alberta town may have cracked the Top 10 in CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Kraft Hockeyville 2011 contest, the game is just heading into overtime.
With the voting clock winding down, the drive for the Top 5 is gaining momentum.
And what better way to get the votes pointed rural west than to enlist the help of roughly 60 students at Bentley School. For 10 hours, students and a dozen teachers and parents participated in a vote-a-thon using the school’s computer labs, telephones and own electronic devices, starting Thursday evening.
“We voted all night,” said Lane Moore, Bentley School principal.
A rough estimate brought the tally to 87,000 votes. Moore was blown away with the estimated votes. He expected something around the lines of 10,000 votes.
“It’s become a bonding experience for our kids between our school and the community,” said Moore. “We just wanted to do our part to make Bentley become Hockeyville.”
Businesses in Bentley have stepped up efforts to get the town of roughly 1,300 voting. Lacombe Peace Officers handed out information voting information during Checkstops in Bentley on Thursday. Among the businesses going the extra mile, the Bentley General Store plastered its windows with voting signage and encouraged people to vote in the store.
“Everybody has been voting,” said Pam Hansen, who works at the general store. “It’s something everyone is excited about . . . It’s kinda cool to see how everyone has pulled together for it.”
But all team-building thoughts aside, Bentley has its work cut out if it wants to represent the west. Brandon, Man. is no lightweight.
“If they wanted to, if everybody voted, they would out do what we did last night in one shot,” said Moore.
“But I just think the heart and the soul of Alberta is in these small rural towns. We’re kinda hoping we’re a good role model for that.”
Top 10 voting ends Sunday at midnight. To vote, visit www.krafthockeyville.ca.
The winning community snags $100,000 in home arena upgrades, a pre-season NHL game at the winning community’s arena and CBC Hockey Night In Canada broadcast from the community. The Top 5 communities receive $25,000 for arena upgrade and a CBC Hockey Night In Canada broadcast from the community.
The Top 5 will be announced on Hockey Night in Canada on March 19, and voting opens again for the favourite community. Voting closes on March 21. The winning community will be announced on April 2.