The summer skater surfaces.

Babel heard from its boy MP the other day. Hockey Night is coming up. This is when the Member of Parliament’s staff and friends throw a fund-raiser for the local hospital and we all pay for it. We probably pay far more than is raised for the hospital but we do not seem to have any audited reports to on which to base our questions.

What started out as nothing more than some self-promotion for the MP has become something of an institution. People in this town like their hockey. A mid-August reminder of our winter game is welcomed as long as nobody questions the high cost of putting the ice into the Molson Centre for the evening. That seems to be paid, without much question, by our basically conservative town council.

It seems that the Corson family is from the town and son Shane and his friend D’Arcy Tucker have been helpful in getting NHL alumni to come out to support the game. This has also added some Hockey Night in Canada broadcasters to the mix and fans get to see some of the personalities who are part of the color and action of our game.

Promotion of the hockey event is covered in part by the tax-payer funded constituent mailings of the MP. Who pays for the newspaper and radio advertising, we have no idea.

As both an experienced charity fund raiser and a political fund raiser, it has always been our instinct to keep such events very separate. When a fund-raising event is given a political slant, it discourages other party’s supporters from participating. It creates a barrier to achieving optimum results for the charity. In the long-term it harms the charity.

It has often seemed to us that a non-partisan event of this type for the local hospital would eventually do a much better job of fund-raising and promotion for the hospital. As it stands at this time, it would be a difficult transition. The ownership of the event has just gone too far.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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