Help support Bentley’s Hockeyville bid

Bentley’s campaign to be recognized as Kraft Hockeyville 2011 is getting serious.

A CBC crew will be in Bentley in the evening of Feb. 16 and all day Feb. 17 and Mayor Joan Dickau invites townspeople and hockey fans in the region to come out and show their enthusiasm for Bentley’s bid to be Kraft Hockeyville.

“Be loud and proud — wear a hockey jersey, make a sign, paint your face, bring noisemakers, decorate your yard, your vehicle, your dog,” the mayor said in encouraging civic pride. “Jump on board and support our bid to be recognized as Hockeyville.

“It will be just one more thing for the community to be so proud of.”

Two communities in each of five regions across Canada have made it to the top 10. In Alberta, Bentley was second only to Edson in the volume of community stories submitted to the Kraft Hockeyville website.

“We’ve had a huge response from the community this year,” Dickau explained.

Mayor Dickau will proclaim Feb. 17 as Hockey Day in Bentley. “On Thursday we are going to have activities pertaining to all things hockey — floor hockey, street hockey, Wii hockey, hockey Scrabble and more. Bentley Hockey Academy will be on the ice at the Bentley Arena with special guest instructors that morning.

And in a nod to the sponsors, a lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches made from Kraft singles slices will be served.

The top 10 will be showcased on Kraft Hockeyville on CBC on March 8. The top five communities (one from each region) will be determined by audience vote. Once they have been revealed, voters will be invited to vote for the grand prize winning community.

The winning community gets:

• $100,000 dedicated to upgrading their local home arena

• A Hockey Night in Canada broadcast in their community

• An NHL pre-season game hosted in their community arena

The remaining communities in the top 5 receive:

• $25,000 dedicated to upgrading their local home arena

• A Hockey Night in Canada broadcast in their community

Dickau said town council has been chipping away at renovations to the 45-year-old Bentley Arena and the $100,000 first prize would go a long way in financing those improvements.