The 2020 Kraft Hockeyville contest is our #7 Top Story of the Year.

Back in August, the village of Pense was up against three other Canadian towns for the chance of winning $250,000 for rink renovations. Rink board member Graeme Crosbie had this to say at the time.

pense-rink cjme1.jpgThe colling system in the 30-year-old Pense Memorial Rink has already outlived it's 25 year lifetime. (Photo courtesy of CJME)."[That money] would go a really, really long way in getting us where we need to be to replace the brine pipe system that sits underneath the ice. The estimated cost is about $300,000 in total. So if you take what we've already raised and what Kraft Hockeyville could bring us, then we could get started on that work right away. That would be tremendous."

Voting began on Aug. 14 and lasted two days. People from all over Saskatchewan got involved, but ultimately Pense failed to receive the highest number of votes.

The title went instead to the town of Twillingate in Newfoundland and Labrador.

But the story didn't end there...people and businesses from all over the province, including Dragons' Den host Brett Wilson, rallied together and pitched in over $175,000 to help repair the rink.brettwilsonfoodbank.jpgSaskatchewan entrepreneur and former Dragons' Den host Brett Wilson donated $25,000 to the fund. (File photo).

"Relief is a good word for it," expressed Crosbie, "because, you know, $300,000 to raise in a town of 500 people is quite a big chunk of change. When we set out to raise this money we figured, as a board, that it would take ten years and that's still averaging $30,000 a year which is still quite a bit of money."

Thanks to the generosity of ordinary people, Pense will now have the funding to support their hockey programs for generations to come.

Pense might not have won the title, but their story won our hearts.


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