Manitoba

Team effort: The Pas Huskies holding on to first place for Good Deeds Cup

Northern Manitoba hockey team could win up to $15,000 for The Pas homeless shelter

Northern Manitoba hockey team could win up to $15,000 for The Pas homeless shelter

A member of The Pas Huskies' PeeWee team serves up a meal at Oscar's Place. (The Pas Huskies/YouTube)

Call it a team effort.

The Pas Huskies, a pee-wee hockey team, are on the verge of winning the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup, which could see up to $15,000 end up in the hands of a The Pas homeless shelter, called Oscar's Place. 

"It's remarkable for a number of reasons," said Jerome Conaty, one of the Huskies' assistant coaches.

"One, The Pas is a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, and we were picked out of hundreds of videos to be a Canadian semi-finalist, that in itself is pretty huge," Conaty said. 

"But even just the fact that through that work that we did we might be able to help the shelter, which has had a lot of curve balls thrown at it in the past few months. So it's just overall a really great story."

It all started when the Huskies decided to do a team-building exercise by helping serve a meal at Oscar's Place in November. 

Before they served their meal, they heard about the Good Deeds Cup, which stated teams had a chance to win several thousand dollars for their favourite charity. All they had to do was submit a video of the team doing a "good deed."

"So we figured we may as well bring along a friend and film it, because, why not," said Conaty. 

A friend of his filmed the team serving up their meal and submitted their one-minute video. A few days later, said Conaty, the team found out they had made the Top 10.

Their video, along with nine others, was chosen from hundreds of submissions from across the country. In order to have a chance at winning their video needs to be among the top three most-viewed when the contest ends. The video currently has about 28,000 views. 

The contest ends on Sunday, and as of Saturday, they were in first place.

"We didn't have the luxury of having multiple TV stations in the area and multiple radio stations, and huge media support, so it was really a grassroots effort by the supporters of our team and the supporters of Oscar's," said Conaty.

"Through the power of social media, were able to get a few very notable shout-outs, like Theo Fleury and Reggie Leach and JordIn TooToo" 

Conaty added "a bunch of Blue Bombers, and lots of hockey community in Brandon, so yeah, it kind of exploded. [Musicians] Bif Naked, Holly McNarland, both of them have actual connections to The Pas, so it was super neat to see the outpouring of support."

If the Huskies' video ends in the top three, Oscar's Place will receive $5,000, said Conaty. Then the final three will to go a panel of judges to determine who wins the $10,000 grand prize. 

The Pas Friendship Centre, which ran Oscar's Place, abruptly announced the shelter's closure in September of 2017, saying they could no longer afford to run it. The community banded together to keep it open, however, permanent funding and other concerns are in doubt, said Conaty. 

"They're basically on a shoestring budget, they're unsure of location, they're unsure basically of long-term stability for the centre," he said. "They're in dire need of a few things … but cots is the number one thing on their list."

Receiving $15,000 would be a big help to the shelter, said Conaty.

"That's huge. Especially for a centre that is battling to keep its doors open and has limited resources, and even the food right now, the food is being provided on a donation basis from the community. You ask any non-profit, $15,000 is a huge lifeline."

To watch the video, head to youtube here

About the Author

Elisha Dacey

Journalist

Elisha Dacey is a journalist with CBC Manitoba. She is the former managing editor of Metro Winnipeg and her work has been seen in newspapers from coast to coast. Reach her at elisha.dacey@cbc.ca.