1996 Staff team . . . Front row: Bryan Martin

Santa Showdown turns 20

Ponoka Secondary Campus is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Santa’s Showdown with more hard work and a renewed commitment to the cause.

Ponoka Secondary Campus is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Santa’s Showdown with more hard work and a renewed commitment to the cause.

Since the charity event’s inception in 1993, the staff and students at the school have raised more than $25,000 for the community’s Santa’s Anonymous program.

This year the school is hoping to surpass the record setting $4,090 of 2012, says event organizer Ron Labrie.

“It’s a bit of a milestone for us,” said Labrie. “It’s been a great evolvement of the game.”

During the first few years, the showdown was held only for hockey players who wanted to be involved. However, it grew so popular that a mandate had to be set only Grade 12 students could participate. “It’s like a rite of passage,” said Labrie.

“Now it’s to the point where we have to field two teams,” he added. In recent years, 70 per cent of the students who play are non-hockey players.

Being the 20th anniversary of the showdown, Labrie has a few surprises and secrets up his jersey’s sleeve. The “crazy” surprises” include a Winnipeg Jets signed jersey, synchronized skating intermission and caroling. “Santa Claus is hopefully going to stop by.”

Labrie says hosting the showdown year after year has been a great experience for the school and the community, and each year since the beginning, it’s been about lending support to Santa’s Anonymous.

Students are selling tickets for $2 and the showdown takes place December 11 at 6:30.