High school students raise thousands for Activettes at Cochrane Classic hockey game

Over $4,000 has been raised for the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank through student player pledges and donations at the door

The stands at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Center (SLSFSC) were packed for the annual Cochrane Classic Hockey game between Cochrane High and Bow Valley High School on March 23.

The game raised $4,375 in support of the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank through doorstep donations and player pledges from students at both schools, as well as a generous donation of ice time from the SLSFSC.

“I think it was one of the best turnouts we’ve ever had,” said Cochrane High leadership teacher Lisa Gordon-Reece.

“We were so happy to see so many people. I think we were all waiting to go out for certain events, so it was really nice to see the stands full.”

The game has been suspended for the past two years due to the pandemic, but with restrictions now lifted, leadership students and high school staff staged the event in record time for its 19th year.

The long-standing tradition focuses on fundraising for Activettes in support of community food security and Gordon-Reece said the need is more widespread than ever.

“We see it in school, families are really struggling. We have more kids in breakfast programs and asking for snacks and things like that.”

In addition to supporting the food bank, the game is, at its core, a celebration of camaraderie between the two high schools.

“Our schools are always competing with each other in sports and things like that, but we don’t see this game as competitive,” Gordon-Reece said.

“One of the highlights is really seeing our school communities come together with all the smiling students and parents. There are always competitive people, but we really try to focus on making it a day fun place where we can get together and raise funds for the Activettes.”

Activettes club president Marcia Gilbertson said she is grateful for the support each year and commends the leadership groups that make this possible.

“It’s really nice to see young people fundraising for us,” she said. “We very much appreciate everyone’s contributions and it’s great to see Cochrane jumping in and supporting us.”

The food bank has seen an upward trend in the number of community members using its service over the past two years, and even more over the past few months.

“We’ve definitely seen adoption lately, but we’re ready for it,” Gilbertson said. “That’s what we’re here for and we really want to spread the word to encourage people in need to come forward and use our service.”

Those in need can contact cochranefoodbank@cochraneactivettes.com, call 403-932-9290 or visit cochraneactivettes.com for more information.

Catherine J. Martinez