The ‘Cup’ will arrive in Innisfail at some point on the morning of August 8. After its arrival, a public event will be held at the Innisfail Arena from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Former Innisfail resident Ray Bennett will be bringing the trophy to town after serving as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Stanley Cup®-winning Colorado Avalanche®.
Bennett grew up in Innisfail playing youth sports - including all his minor hockey - and graduated from Innisfail High School in 1980. Bennett also played several seasons with the Innisfail Eagles Senior Hockey team.
In addition to providing Innisfail’s citizens with what could be considered the chance of a lifetime, Bennett also wanted the event to have some residual benefits in the community.
“I wanted to bring the Cup back to the Town I grew up in, played minor hockey and so many others sports in and graduated high school from. Also to honor all those, including my parents who sacrificed so much time and effort to help all the youth of our time with the activities and sports we pursued,” explains Bennett. “I still have so many friends and family in Innisfail and the area, it will always be ‘my hometown’. I’m so happy and proud to bring the Stanley Cup® to our home. Additionally, I’m hopeful we can raise some money to support the local hockey youth, and also highlight a great friend and mentor to me, Larry Reid, through the Larry Reid Memorial Coaching Development Foundation.”
Money raised at the event will be split between the Innisfail Minor Hockey Association and the Larry Reid Memorial Coaching Development Foundation, which was incorporated in 2018. The fund supports the development of hockey-related initiatives and programs in Innisfail.
The public will have the opportunity to take a photograph with Lord Stanley’s trophy free of charge. Event organizers will accept donations from attendees to support local youth hockey programs.
A barbecue and a game of pick-up street hockey are also on the agenda. Attendees are invited to bring a hockey stick and a pair of gloves in order to participate in a game of ‘street hockey’ that will be played on one of the arena’s concrete surfaces. The barbecue, which will also be by donation, will be organized and hosted by the Rotary Club of Innisfail. Both will run from11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. A small silent auction will be held at the event featuring a few signed jerseys, sticks, and other assorted items.
Entry to the arena and access to the trophy will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and although the event is intended for residents of Innisfail, attendees from outside the community are able to attend.
The event organizers are only able to accept donations of cash or cheque at the event. An option to donate by credit or debit card is not available. Cheques should be made payable to the Innisfail Minor Hockey Association.