As anyone who sees the Kron’s game room will note, the Maryhill family loves hockey. And, like so many kids growing up in the area, Brian and Brent Kron nurtured their passion for the winter sport with frequent games of road hockey.It wasn’t a stretch, then, when the brothers linked the desire to do some good in the community with their favourite pastime, resulting in the first charity ball hockey tournament four years ago.
“They just grabbed a ball and stick, closed off the road,” said mom Karen Kron of the kids in Maryhill.
Since the first outing, the ball hockey tournament organized by the two young men has become something of a tradition in at the Maryhill community centre. As the date neared for this year’s outing, there was a steady buzz in the community.
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“At school everyone asks me – lots of people ask for it,” said their sister, Brittany Kron, who is helping out this year.
“As soon as May comes around people are texting us, asking ‘when’s it happening?’ So, yeah, it’s a big hit,” said Brent Kron.
The family has raised about $10,000 for various causes through the tournament, now in its fourth year. Their first effort to give back to their community brought improvements to Maryhill Heritage Park: $3,600 towards a new chain-link fence around the outdoor skating rink. The second year, with the help of Travis and Mark Bauman, the boys raised funds for a local family: Jackson and Carter Stoneman were diagnosed with autism and the proceeds, about $5,500, went to help offset some medical costs. In its third year, funds went back into the Maryhill park and this year the boys are continuing their contribution to the public space.
“We had good feedback from it so we kept going with it. It gives us another hockey tournament to play in,” said Brent.
By Tuesday (May 28) the tournament was booked solid, with 16 teams registered at $85 apiece bringing in a total of $1,360 for the cause. Fundraising efforts will continue through the weekend as well with a barbecue.
Brent, 21, said he and his brother Brian, 23, have enjoyed holding the tournament, though he admits that by the time Sunday rolls around, everyone in the family is pretty much exhausted.
“I’d like to continue it and then hopefully one day someone will take it and go with it. Then we can just be part of the tournament as a team and not running the whole show – that would be nice. But, yeah, we enjoy doing it,” he added.
The tournament takes place this weekend, Friday through Sunday, at Maryhill Heritage Park.