Having recovered from a busy weekend of showing off its hockey colours, Woolwich is suiting up again for the “Drive to 5.5”
That’s the slogan the Hockeyville committee has adopted for the final round of voting, which starts Feb. 28.
Last year Roberval, Quebec garnered 2.2 million votes in capturing the top prize. Woolwich’s Hockeyville committee has set its sights on 5.5 million as the winning number.
“This township was asked to raise $5.5 million towards the new complex, and I think most people told us – even the consultants told us – that they thought we could raise maybe $2-3 million in this community,” said organizer Graham Snyder. “We’ve raised over $5 million already, and we’re well on our way to achieving that goal of $5.5 million.
“If those 20,000 can raise $5.5 million with the help of the hockey community, I think we can do the same in votes.”
The committee is hoping to rally people across the province to bring Hockeyville back to Ontario. They’ve also contacted all the public and Catholic schools in Waterloo Region, asking for their support.
Del Gingrich, who’s organizing the schools, said they’re hoping schools in Elmira will work out arrangements to keep their computer labs open late for voting. Elmira District Secondary School and Park Manor Public School have already jumped on board with the idea.
Voting starts at 11 p.m. on Feb. 28, after the last community is showcased on Hockey Night in Canada, and continues through to Mar. 4.
On Feb. 28, the day voting opens, the committee will be holding a ‘faceoff’ – “not a kickoff, that’s football,” Snyder remarked – in Gore Park on Arthur Street. After the opening festivities, the group will head to the arena for a 24-hour marathon of voting.
The Hockeyville committee is looking for loans of computers, especially laptops, to set up a voting station in the arena. Using the computers, which will be supervised, they’re hoping people will be able to vote while watching their kids’ minor hockey games.
The committee is encouraging people to use Facebook and e-mail to contact friends outside the region and urge them to vote. Another idea is to organize voting showdowns, with businesses rivaling each other for how many votes their employees can cast.
The committee is also looking for public input about getting the word out. Suggestions or offers of computer loans can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We really want to get the community involved, and we have great minds out there,” said committee member Sherrie Goss.
In the meantime, the Hockeyville committee is asking residents and businesses to keep their signs and decorations up until Mar. 4, and use signs to encourage people to vote.
When voting opens, you’ll be able to vote online at www.woolwichhockeyville.ca, by calling 1-866-533-8066, or by texting “Vote Woolwich” to 222111.