PORT McNEILL—The upcoming arrival of the Stanley Cup is the focus of attention at the moment, but it is not the only sports highlight announced in the community this month.
Royal Canadian Legion branch 281 announced it has been awarded the Legion’s 2013 Provincial Championship bonspiel, to be held at Broughton Curling Club Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2013.
“It’s quite an honour for a branch as small as ours,” said Grant Anderson, a councillor who is also a legion officer.
“This is a major coup for our club,” Mayor Gerry Furney added. “I’m glad I’m a member, so I can get in free.”
Cup in a chopper
Furney added he met with Willie and Megan Mitchell and Vancouver-based events coordinator Catherine Runnals, in preparation for the Aug. 12 arrival of the Stanley Cup.
Mitchell, who grew up and learned to play hockey at the local arena before moving on to the NHL, will bring the Cup in a helicopter that will land on the NISS track field at about 11 a.m. Aug. 12.
Local youth hockey players will get a place of honour in a roped-off corridor alongside the track, and will follow Mitchell as he carries the Cup into the arena.
The Stanley Cup will spend the next several hours on display, where visitors may have their photo taken with the iconic trophy.
In an effort to get an idea of the number of people who will line up for photos, Runnals is asking guests to get a free, advance ticket to the event. The tickets are available at Marketplace IGA in Port McNeill, at Overwaitea in Port Hardy and at FP Foods in Port Alice.
Tickets also have a stub that can be dropped at the arena entrance for free prize draws during the day.
“The goal for me is to get as many kids as possible in pictures with that Cup,” Furney said.
Willie gets his day
Council voted unanimously to approve Aug. 12 as Willie Mitchell Day.
Earlier, during a special meeting called July 11, council voted to give Mitchell the title of Freeman to the Town of Port McNeill.