Folks dressed in their best at Ponoka Minor Hockey Association’s (PMHA) fundraiser that not only brought funds to the organization but ended up being a season send-off as well.
Normally the fundraiser is held in the middle of the season, says Geoff Tatlow, PMHA vice-president and fundraiser organizer, but hosting it on Saturday, April 9 at the Stagecoach Saloon gave parents and board members a chance at a fun season windup.
The main goal of the fundraiser is to keep fees down to make it affordable for kids to play, says Tatlow, who added they aim to raise $15,000 to $20,000 — last year the association raised $18,000. Other areas the funds could go to would be in projects to benefit PMHA. Still in the works is the jersey contest.
“We’re mulling that one over still. It’s a big cost to change all the jerseys at once, so we’re deciding whether we want to do it this time of year,” explained Tatlow.
Part of that also depends on how much money is brought in at the fundraiser, he added. Helping make that happen were many donated items for the live and silent auctions and while the full amount wasn’t available at press time, there were plenty of people checking out the items.
There are several opportunities for new board members with PMHA.
President Mark Prefontaine recently announced he is stepping down from the top seat. There are also three coaching co-ordinator positions as well as a treasurer and registrar position.
Prefontaine said it had been a busy season with successes in several areas including the Lacoka female hockey program and the Atom A team making it to finals at provincials. “We had some really competitive teams in the league.”
“First and foremost,” added Prefontaine. “The kids had fun.”
He was pleased with the strong response from players despite a slight reduction in registrations. Part of that was due to the new AA hockey program initiated by Hockey Alberta. There was a learning curve not only for Hockey Alberta but for minor hockey groups because of the program.
“We were with Wetaskiwin as our hub for AA. Hockey Alberta has quashed the Wetaskiwin hub, so now we’re going to Lacombe for next season for AA hockey,” explained Prefontaine.
Another area it caused some issues for PMHA was in the dates of tryouts, however, Prefontaine says there will always be some mistakes rolling out a new program.
With regards to the AGM, Prefontaine was pleased with last year’s AGM when there were multiple required elections as opposed to people coming in by acclamation. “It shows that you’ve got some interest with the association and people willing to participate.”
“This organization runs on volunteers, so we need people engaged and we need people interested,” said Prefontaine.
PMHA’s AGM is set for Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Ponoka Legion.