For any event – large or small in scale – to be successful, it’s the volunteers behind the scenes who are the biggest key to success even though they may not receive the recognition they deserve.
That couldn’t ring more true for the 38 volunteers on the TELUS Cup organizing committee, who have put in numerous hours of their own time to get the City of Leduc ready for Canada’s National Midget Championship next month.
As chairman of the committee, Jim Jones said he couldn’t be working with a better and more committed group of local volunteers for the event.“I can’t say enough about the people we have here. Each and every person on the committee has made so many contributions towards the event,” explained Jones.
Lynne Chalmers is one of those members.
She is in charge of contacting local restaurants to make sure all the athletes and coaches are fed during the tournament – a job that requires a lot of organization and rigid time management.
As a former home economics teacher, Chalmers is well versed in the world of food and that’s why Jones wanted to get her on board. “She’s taken it on and she’s done a fantastic job for us,” commented Jones.
“My motto is: ‘I don’t know a lot about hockey, but I know a lot about food’,” said Chalmers. She has spent the last number of months speaking with local restaurants to confirm their commitment to making 95 meals for six teams – a total of 26 members per team over eight days of eating.
Chalmers said she is close to securing the right number of local restaurants to make sure all the dining needs are met for the tournament.
“We’ve got some really good food happening and the restaurants involved are really excited.”
Since everyone loves food, this aspect can either give Leduc good reviews or bad.
“Good food or bad food, perhaps, can make or break an activity such as the TELUS Cup,” noted Chalmers.
As head of gaining sponsors for the cup, Darcy Powlik said working with this committee has been nothing but a pleasure.
“Everyone knows what they’re doing and when you’ve got a great group of people like we do, it makes it easy. The bottom line is they’re great, solid driven people,” said Powlik.
Fred and Maria Holland, who are working on the tournament banquet, echoed the same comments. “Our meetings, the structure and the organization are just amazing. The people are so professional and everything runs so smoothly,” said Fred.
He added he has been on organizing committees in the past, but this one is the best he’s ever been a part of.
This isn’t the first time this group of volunteers has worked together to put on a large-scale minor hockey event in the city either.
The majority of the TELUS Cup organizing committee was a part of the organizing committee for the Alberta Cup two years ago.
“I’ve never seen an event run so smoothly and without stress. It’s a real testament to the people who organized it,” commented Maureen Magee, who takes care of accommodations on the TELUS Cup committee and was also a part of the Alberta Cup committee.
Having a majority of the core group back is part of the reason the planning process has gone so smoothly so far.
“We’ve had such a good time running the Alberta Cup that 90 per cent stayed on board for the TELUS Cup. We’ve added a few others to the process and they’ve been absolutely fantastic too,” added Jones.
Organizing and putting together an event like the TELUS Cup doesn’t just happen. The committee members have personal reasons as to why they chose to volunteer, but as a whole there is one main reason to put in the time to organize an event like the TELUS Cup.
“The ultimate goal for our organizing committee is the promotion of hockey,” said Jones. Committee members are even taking personal holiday time to make sure the event goes smoothly when it hits the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) from April 23-29.
“Fifty per cent of the people on our committee are going to take a week’s holidays for the event.
“You show me somebody that’s going to give a week of their holidays when they only get three weeks and it’s strictly volunteer,” commented Jones, who is taking two weeks of his personal vacation time for the event.
One of, if not the most, important goals of the committee is to break even with the cost of the event prior to beginning of it and at this point, Jones is confident it can get done.
“We were able to do that with the Alberta Cup and right now, we’re really close with this event.”