SPRINGHILL – It was a valiant effort, but getting an additional $75,000 was not to be for this former mining community.
The final results of the Kraft Celebration Tour were revealed on TSN’s Sportscentre Monday night and Springhill came together much like when the journey first began in July. Many of the same people who came to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 17 to watch the live broadcast had returned, some sitting in the same seats, to watch the final announcement – who would win the $75,000?
Springhill won $25,000 when it was named a qualifier, leading to some exciting times in the community. First, supporters had to rally together for three days of online voting as they contended for the $75,000 prize. Local businesses offered computers, prizes and extended hours while the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre stayed open 24-hours. Computers stations were available in the teen centre and local youth worked around the clock shoulder-to-shoulder with their adult peers to vote for Springhill.
When the voting closed, attention turned towards hosting TSN’s Sportcentre, an event that took place last Tuesday. Instead of a simple stage and backing for the video cameras to focus on, however, the Lions Park turned into a carnival atmosphere, with Kraft products being offered, live entertainment, games, giveaways and approximately 100 volunteers working diligently as participant numbers in the hundreds arrived for the live broadcast.
Leaving just Monday’s final announcement.
As Sportcentre began to broadcast, the crowd moved from hushed voices, to laughter and conversation on the commercial breaks, and then back to hushed tones. A delay in airing a clip lead to a collective gasp, and then the announcement was revealed: Barrhead, Alberta was the winner. At first the audience groaned, and then slowly it began to clap for the winners, even though they were halfway across the continent away. It wasn’t a thunderous raucous, but it certainly was more than a polite golf clap. And despite to loss, there was still a lot of happiness in the audience.
“Hey. We got free t-shirts and $25,000 for the park. That’s something,” Mark Joseph, a member of the Lions Park revitalization committee.
“We’re winners all around,” Joel Stone said.
The plan for the $25,000 Springhill has is to use it towards the ball fields in the park. Drainage has been an issue form many years, often turning the fields into a soggy, muddy mess when inclement weather comes to town. The community got lucky over the weekend when it hosted the Nova Scotia Peewee B championships, which Springhill’s Fencebusters won, but their have been very disappointing years when Mother Nature decided otherwise.
Come next year, that won’t be an issue any more and that’s worth celebrating.