Hockey fans, B.C. Bantam tournament needs your help

Planning continues for the upcoming B.C. Bantam Tier 3 Hockey Championships, while the committee waits to see which teams will qualify for the tournament.

The biggest challenge currently facing the organizers is recruiting volunteers. Although all the parents of the Smithers Bantam team will be helping out, the committee wants to ensure that parents and family are available to watch and cheer on the Storm during their games. Parents have been divided up and put in charge of different responsibilities, including scorekeeping, security, music, raffles, merchandise sales, and numerous other duties.

“Those teams are now starting to ramp up their efforts to recruit their own volunteers,” said organizer Cheryl Ann Stahel.

The tournament will feature half a dozen games each on March 20, 21 and 22. There will be four games on the 23rd, and then the two final games on March 24. Each team should play four games throughout the week, and all games are free to watch thanks to sponsorship. Some of the costs of the tournament will be covered by program sales, raffles and merchandise sales.

The committee is slowly working its way through the bureaucratic maze of licensing for 50-50 draws and raffles, but there are already prizes lined up, including gift baskets and a signed Dan Hamhuis jersey. Committee member John Wreggitt is lining up advertisers for the official program, which will be sold at the door. Stahel is also searching for businesses to cover the cost of about 100 packages which will be given to coaches and volunteers.

The organizers also have the pleasure of planning the opening ceremonies, which will happen at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday March 20. The ceremonies will feature all the players from the tournament, and should be followed by a game including the home team.

Stahel said the committee is continuing to work out each aspect of the tournament, one step at a time. The only pressing need is for a commitment to help out from hockey parents and fans.

“We could definitely use more volunteers to step up, especially for security,” said Stahel. “The rest of it is rolling along pretty well. Our small but mighty team of volunteers is moving ahead.”

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