The Stanley Cup is coming to Innisfail.
Hockey’s holy grail is coming to town on Aug. 8 courtesy of former resident Ray Bennett, who served as an assistant coach with Stanley Cup winners Colorado Avalanche.
Bennett grew up in Innisfail playing youth sports, including all his minor hockey, and graduated from Innisfail High School in 1980. Bennett also played several seasons with the Innisfail Eagles Senior Hockey team.
The town says Bennett wanted to provide Innisfail’s citizens with what could be considered the chance of a lifetime, but also wanted the event to have some residual benefits in the community.
Attendees will be able take their own photos free of charge, but a photographer will be on site to provide pictures to those whose do not have their own camera. Event organizers will accept donations from attendees to support the Innisfail Minor Hockey Association and the Larry Reid Memorial Coaching Development Foundation, a fund supporting the development of hockey-related initiatives and programs in Innisfail.
Entry to the arena and access to the trophy will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and although the event is intended for residents of Innisfail, attendees from outside the community are able to attend.
No tickets or reservation are required. However, due to the potential of large crowd volumes not all attendees are guaranteed an opportunity for a photo.
The event organizers are only able to accept donations of cash or cheque at the event. An option to donate by credit or debit card is not available. Cheques should be made payable to the Innisfail Minor Hockey Association.
A barbecue, which will also be by donation, will be organized and hosted by the Rotary Club of Innisfail. Additionally, the Town will host a game of pick-up street hockey. Attendees are invited to bring a hockey stick and a pair of gloves in order to participate in a game that will be played on one of the arena’s concrete surfaces. Both will run from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
A small silent auction will be held at the event featuring a few signed jerseys, sticks, and other assorted items.