WESTVILLE - The Donald Keddy Memorial Hockey Tournament fundraiser began in 1983 when Donald passed away from brain cancer. He was a player for the Westville Juveniles hockey team and Bookie MacDonald was part of the coaching staff.
The first year started with a hockey game consisting of players from Donald’s team and the Westville Presidential All-Stars which raised $737.00. Since then, it has grown to the point where we have two weekends booked at the Westville Miners Sports Centre and 16 teams playing each weekend. Over the past 29 years we have raised approximately $220,000 in Donald’s memory.
This year, being the 30th anniversary, they have set a goal to attempt raising $30,000, which would bring the total raised to a quarter of a million dollars.
On March 16, this Saturday, there will be an “open mic” taking place, at the White Tail Pub & Grill, hosted by Andrew Read. This event will run from 2 to 7 p.m. with door prizes to be won. Saturday evening, at the same location, there will be a dance beginning at 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. with The Good Feeling Band entertaining.
The following weekend, March 23, well know Tom Chapman and False Pretense will be rocking the White Tail Pub & Grill from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. The dances are a big part of this fundraising campaign, as well as a good time for everyone.
There are also tickets being sold at several locations throughout the county on an all inclusive trip for two to Jamaica as first prize and a 50” flat screen TV as second prize. Since the winner may not prefer the trip they have the option of receiving $2,500 cash as the first prize win.
Several years ago, MacDonald discovered that the monies raised for the Canadian Cancer Society were no longer staying right here in Pictou County. He said he knew that the funding is needed all over, and not just for this cause. However, this is where they wanted it to stay, and here it will stay. The Pictou County Prostate Support Group donations remain here in our county.
“Better yet, the members are so grateful to be receiving the donations each year that several men who belong to this group have been putting themselves out there assisting with this fundraiser,” said MacDonald. “Sometimes it’s confusing because they were thanking me for the help and now I am thanking them for theirs. Wait a second, who’s helping who?
“It’s great. You have to love Pictou County.”
Lastly, MacDonald said that this event has grown so much over the past 29 years that people come from one end of our country to the other to be a part of “The Keddy.”
“I didn’t have children when this all began, and now, our two sons have teams in the tournament,” said MacDonald. “I presented my wife, Ruth, with a trophy at the 10th Annual Keddy Tournament to say ‘thank you so much for your help and support but I am done.’
“Twenty years later, I have to admit that she was right.”
*Note: There is still one opening for a team in the 35 and under division (March 22-24). Anyone interested in putting a team in please call Bookie at 396-3106.