A banner with McNeil’s name will hang from the rafters of the Appleby Arena recognizing his contribution to local minor hockey.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  July 17, 2013.  The cheque was indeed in the mail – a big one that put $20,000 into the Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association (BLOMHA) bank account where the spending will be spread out over two years.

Hundreds of Burlington hockey types clicked on this red button to rack of points for the significant cash award – BLOMHA won $20,000.

The cheque was the result of a superb effort by John McNeil and a team of people he directed who made thousands of clicks on a red button set up on the Kraft Hockey Goes On website.

The prize money came from Kraft Foods who sponsor the  Hockey Goes On contest in which BLOMHA was one of four runner ups in Central Ontario.  The top prize which was $100,000 – that went to Goderich.

Anyone with a laptop and at least five fingers got put to work. The young fellow on the right has all ten fingers but they didn’t give him a keyboard.

When Kraft announced the program for 2013 Kristen Priestner,  a local hockey Mon with a son in the BLOMHA Atom A, nominated John McNeil, who manages the team,  as the person who had done the most for minor hockey in their community.

McNeil’s nomination was accepted by Kraft and the game was on.  McNeil headed up a diverse team that included almost everyone he knew.

Boys in a van on the way to a hockey game in London use the time to log in and click, click, click.

The community pulled together and worked throughout the weekend – they even had hockey players logging in and clicking on that red button while they were being transported to out-of-town games.

This banner will hang proudly in the Appleby Arena, recognizing forever the contribution McNeil made to BLOMHA and it hockey operations.

Along with the cheque BLOMHA was given a large banner recognizing organizer John McNeil and his efforts. The banner will go up in Appleby arena.

How will BLOMHA spend this windfall?  One of the decisions the organization made was that none of the prize money would be used for administrative stuff. The full $20,000 will go into the hockey program for the Burlington community to benefit.

This year $5,000 will go towards subsidizing hockey fees for financially challenged families.

BLOMHA Executive Director Rick Dawson on the left and John McNeil hold up the $20,000 cheque won during a drive to register clicks on the Kraft Hockey Goes On contest last March.

Another $5000 will go towards replacing 10-year-old and worn out goalie gear used by goalies in the house league program

The other $10,000 will be saved for next year to be used to assist families in getting their sons or daughters into the game.  BLOMHA has taken the position that they will report to McNeil on just how they spent the money.

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