Thursday, January 17, 2019

Is That Really Don Cherry?

2019 started off with a bang...well more of a ricocheting slap shot!  Our 10th Annual Pond Hockey was last Saturday, January 12.  As most of you know we have been experiencing a warmer than usual winter - which is making everyone happy right?  Well, mostly right.  The down side of warm weather?  Difficult ice making conditions!  However, the hard work of our staff paid off.  With only two weeks to go, the ice was in great shape - even though the warmer days meant we couldn't make ice after lunch.

Then with about a week to go before the big day I made the mistake of looking at the forecast for Saturday.  Plus 5!  Plus 5 is almost summer here in Alberta.  Plus 5 is a cause for celebration for most of melts at plus 5!  As we all know there is not much we can do about the forecast - except pray.  And pray I did!  The forecast for Saturday continued to look bleak (albeit wonderful at the same time) as the week moved on.  Wednesday - plus 7!  Thursday - plus 5 - OK I thought, we are moving in the right direction.  And then on Friday the forecast for Saturday was...wait for 9!  Are you kidding?  PLUS 9!  (Capitals were added for dramatic effect!)  I prayed, "Lord this is your Pond Hockey and your camp.  I pray for colder weather, but leave tomorrow in your hands."

Saturday morning dawned cloudy and cool.  Not super cold, but below freezing.  As players and guests arrived from the north, south, and east, they commented about the temperatures they encountered on the way to camp.  Many hit plus temperatures somewhere on their journey to Evergreen in those early morning hours!  What were we in for I wondered?  But the day continued to be cloudy and cool.  The ice was near perfect.  Was that chance or was that our awesome God allowing us to have perfect weather for Pond Hockey?  I'm going with our Awesome God!

It was a great day.  Ken and the kitchen gang put out the usual fare of savoury cuisine and we had about 260 people join us for sloppy joes at lunch.  Supper was this incredible BBQ chicken (thanks Fred!) and the dining hall was full with 175 people.  Don Cherry (who surprisingly enough looks a lot like Gery Schubert) was our special guest and guess who went home (the second year in a row) with the silent auctions world famous peanut butter pie from Linden!  Oh my lanta that pie schmeckt gut!

We had the largest number of kids join us for their "skills" competition, our wagon rides were full, and the District 5 Slugs (ask our board chair where the name came from) won the tournament for a record breaking fourth time!  Our top sponsored team, the Gem Generals, raised just over $6,000!  This is the second year in a row for the Generals.  Our total so far is in the $33,000 neighbourhood.  Funds are still trickling in and if you want to join the trickle helping us reach the goal of $40,000 that would be awesome!  Thanks so much for your participation as a donor, player, guest, staff member, or volunteer.

I invite you to join us this year as we continue to reach higher bringing the life changing Good News of Jesus Christ to the children, youth, and families of Alberta.  Join us in prayer.  Join us on site as a volunteer.  Join us by becoming a monthly donor.  God is truly at work in and through us!

Thanks for your continued support.

Bob "Ranger" Kroeker
Executive Director