The first ever Kaban’s Community Champion Award has been given to 3-D Charity Hockey Tournament Founder and Chair Darren Foley.
The Grande Prairie Auto Group’s Wes Kaban started the award to recognize people who do good work in the community.
Foley organized the tournament to help sick kids.
“It’s the three districts, the public, Catholic and the Peace Wapiti school districts. Teachers in those districts e-mail me and fill out a form that this student has cancer or this student needs an organ transplant or whatever it might be. We buy medical equipment, wheelchairs, specialized medical strollers and all kinds of stuff.”
He adds people don’t do things like this to get awards.
“Meeting these kids is all the award that you can ask for, because it just makes you a better person to see what these kids are going through.”
GP Nissan General Manager Jeremy Budde presented the award. He played in the first edition of the tournament when he was in Grade 10.
“My son’s nine years old and he’ll be playing for the Harry Balfour school and he’ll get to play in a game this Friday. That hit home to me and I thought that was a pretty special, full circle moment right there.”
We asked Foley how he felt when he heard that story.
“How fantastic is that? Just the longevity of the event too and how we’ve been able to sustain it and keep it going and through some tough economic times, too.”
This year’s edition will include hockey and soccer tournaments. It starts Thursday and goes through Saturday at the Coca Cola Centre and St. Joe’s high school.