A pee-wee hockey team from northern Manitoba has 15,000 reasons to be happy.
On Monday, The Pas Huskies were announced as this year’s winners of Chevrolet’s Good Deeds Cup, awarding the team $15,000 for the charity of its choice.
Jerome Conaty, one of the team’s assistant coaches, said the news came as a shock for the kids.
“They almost didn’t fully understand what was happening,” Conaty told APTN Monday. “They were pretty ecstatic once it all sunk in.”
The contest, in its second year, was open to pee-wee teams across Canada. Teams were required to make a one-minute video advocating for a charity in their communities. Videos were posted to Chevrolet Canada’s YouTube page, and the one with the most views won.
The Huskies beat out nine other teams for the coveted prize.
The team chose Oscar’s Place, the town’s only homeless shelter, as its charity of choice after volunteering there last December.
Conaty says the team originally volunteered as part of a team-building exercise and it snowballed from there.
“We went from wanting to volunteer there for a few hours and just by fluke and the stars aligning we found out about the contest and entered,” he said.
Last fall, The Pas Friendship Centre announced it would be closing the shelter due to a lack of funding.
Several people stepped in to form a group called Stand Up for Oscar’s Place Inc. The group fundraises to help keep the shelter open.
Money will go toward basic necessities such as food, dishes, cooking appliances and bedding, Louise Dewar, a volunteer with the group, told APTN last month.
“For us it would mean taking a look at buying cots,” she said. “We do think it’s important because we get some elderly gentlemen here, and [they] sleep on the floor.”
Chevrolet and Hockey Canada will present The Huskies with its winnings during a special televised event taking place in The Pas in early March.
The Huskies video garnered approximately 45,000 views from across Canada.
“We’re from a small town. We have like 12 kids on our team. The Pas has 5000 people. Our hockey association is pretty tiny,” said Conaty.
“To get this kind of response is pretty incredible. Just an incredible feeling.”