KINGSTON, NS – The village of Kingston got the opportunity to skate with Santa December 9 thanks to a hockey team’s donation of ice time for the event.
Western Valley Spartans Atom B team manager Patricia MacDonald was at the event, which was made possible by her team’s donation of their ice team for the community to use.
Many kids and their parents took part in the event, and were thrilled to be skating with Santa. For four-year-old Serenity Graves, it was her first time ever skating.
“I almost slipped and fell earlier, but I got it together,” she said.
Sporting her favourite colours, pink and purple, Graves darted around the rink, taking long strides and making skating look easy to all who were watching.
She caught Santa’s attention, who helped her up as she grabbed the boards to keep from falling.
“Santa is cool. This skating is fun,” she said.
The team made the ice time donation after receiving an anonymous gift of free skating ice time and a pizza lunch for them to enjoy as a Christmas party.
“The players decided as a team that instead, they wanted to do this, and also donate to the food bank,” said MacDonald.
The ice time and pizza were then opened up to the community, and everyone attending was encouraged to bring either cash or food donations to the food bank.
The village of Kingston also added a free public skate before the event, making the skating time with Santa even longer.
This was the event’s first year, and MacDonald and team coach Todd McDonald are already looking to make it an annual event, since it teaches the players – most of whom are nine and ten – how to give back, and be present in their communities.
“We’ve really been teaching them about things like what it means to be a community member and good citizens. We teach them that being a hockey player isn’t just about the ice time, it’s about what you do off the ice as well,” said MacDonald.