Woodstock Varsity Hockey Ice
Nicole McKeon, Parent Representative
Woodstock High School Varsity Hockey/Woodstock Youth Hockey Association
P.O. Box 571
Grant Request Summary
The Woodstock Boys and Girls Varsity Hockey teams have always been responsible for paying all of the ice fees associated with having a Varsity hockey team at the WUHS. This is an unusual arrangement, as with most high school hockey teams, the cost of playing the sport is funded by budgeting done by the school district. In Woodstock, the ice fees have always been paid by what has been termed a "donation" by parents of about $800-$900/player, and then fundraising. The billing has been done through Woodstock Youth Hockey Association, which has also contributed to the cost of Varsity ice through their fundraising efforts in the form of tournaments. This year, due to Covid and the limits on spectators and fundraising associated with the pandemic, we find ourselves with a $40,000 ice fee, and a cost per player of closer to $1400. As you can imagine, this is a real hardship for many of our families. We believe that the Union Arena and the tournaments hosted by both the Arena and the Woodstock Youth Hockey Association, made up of many of the same parents who now have varsity players, is an addition to our local economy. The tournaments have brought in 100's of hockey players and their families, who stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our retail establishments. Our hope is that the EDC will understand that without sufficient funds to pay for the varsity ice, it impacts the youth hockey program and that, in turn, impacts the Union Arena and this great source of income for our local businesses. The team is busy planning and hosting fundraisers, and have done two on the Green to support the local community (serving food during Leaf season on days when none of the local restaurants were open and doing coffee/cocoa this weekend for Wassail)
Desired Grant Amount
$10,000 - $14,999
Other Funding Sources
Each athlete's parent is required to donate $900 which equals $26,100. We have already raised and additional $10K through fundraising, and have plans for multiple other fundraisers
The ice needs to be paid for each month- currently our funds will cover December.
How will this project benefit the economic and community development of Woodstock?
As I mentioned above, the hockey tournaments hosted by the Woodstock Youth Hockey Association have historically brought in 100's of families that stay in our hotels, shop in our stores, eat in our restaurants. We also bring in families every weekend from visiting teams who shop and eat here. Our teams also bring the community together- to watch the games, to cheer on the athletes, to bring in former students who now coach- which leads to a legacy of connection amongst our community members. The more support that we can get, the more it allows our parents and volunteers to create and staff new events which bring in more tourist traffic to the town. If the parents are expected to fully donate all of the funds, then it is much more difficult to also ask them to work on huge events like tournaments and play down weekends.
Which EDC Working Grouop Objectives does your project best support?
Marketing (Marketing Woodstock to attract more visitors and permanent residents), Events (Supporting the growth of events for visitors and the community), Other
Our event will also support community awareness of our student athletes, and our amazing facilities, like the Union Arena, which attracts families to move here.
The Varsity Hockey Teams are collaborating with the Woodstock Youth Hockey Association. We have also worked with the Chamber of Commerce on two of our most recent fundraisers, hold an annual golf event at the Woodstock Country Club, and annual fundraiser at the Worthy Kitchen and an annual fundraiser at Ramuntos in Bridgewater.
Many of you know the current or former kids who play on the Varsity Hockey Teams. These are great kids- they've committed a lot to being great hockey players. Some of these kids have been playing since before they started kindergarten. The youth hockey programs funnel the athletes into the varsity programs. These are programs that in many towns are funded by taxes. In Woodstock, this is not the case. Finding other sources of funds will be pivotal to building a scalable and sustainable hockey program for years to come.