Letter: Wasn’t that a party?
August 21, 2011 (the day after)
51 days, 1224 hours.
Canada Day 2011, TSN rolled into town with the announcement Wallaceburg was in the running for the Kraft 10 in10 Celebration Tour. If anyone knew before hand that TSN was coming, it was a secret to Wallaceburg residents. Even TSN news didn’t announce until the day after, that out of over 400 entries, Wallaceburg was one of the top 20 communities selected in the Kraft Celebration Tour.
We extend our congratulations to the author of the letter sent by the Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse Association. It was a well written appeal that brought our town to the attention of the selection committee.
Then the fun began!
To win the $25,000 Kraft Community Challenge, Wallaceburg had to vote – after all, it was called the Kraft Community Challenge! How could Wallaceburg, (population 11,000) compete against Trenton (population 19,000) in an online voting marathon? Planning was called for; the vote was only 11 days away.
Voting ran from July 12 noon ET to July 13 11:59:59 a.m. ET, and by the time the keyboards and wires cooled down, Wallaceburg and Trenton had logged over 1 million votes – the greatest number of votes ever recorded by Kraft for this contest.
If anyone ever doubted Wallaceburg was a competitive sports town, those doubts were laid to rest when the final tally was announced on TSN Sports Central at 6:15 July 13th! Wallaceburg had won.
It would have been easy to sit back and let TSN and the Kraft Celebration Tour come to town, present the cheque, and host the party. But that’s not Wallaceburg.
Planning for the party started the day after the official announcement. Wallaceburg was going to be on National television and we wanted to look good! Meetings and planning and more meetings and more planning. TSN SportsCentre anchors Kate Beirness and Darren Dutchyshen were going to visit and tour Wallaceburg. What they saw was what the country would see.
WAMBO a week before? No problem! Add it to the planning and let’s get to work! A Cultural Crawl the night before the party? Hey, this is Wallaceburg! No problem – we literally had dancing in the street!
Greg Hetherington, announcing CKXS (just the best radio station ever) would have online auctions to help Trenton raise money for their THS Track Quest fund raiser? Of course, it’s not unusual for Wallaceburg to do the unexpected. Wallaceburg was proud to hand over a cheque for $5,000 to Track Quest organizer Duncan Armstrong, a new friend of Wallaceburg.
Side bets were placed by those who know the Burg as to how many people would show up for the party. Even they were surprised. Official tallies range from 3,200 to 3,700 people. Why anyone was surprised is a mystery, this is Wallaceburg!
Then it rained. Again, this is Wallaceburg. We looked at this sign from Mother Nature as watering her favorite growing, thriving community. A little rain makes us shine!
It’s the day after the party. We thank Kraft for the money for the Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse project. We thank TSN for showcasing our town. We thank the many minor sports groups for pitching in and helping out. We thank the volunteers who stepped up and took direction or took charge and made our town shine. There is a long list of individuals we should thank, but when all is said and done, we thank Wallaceburg. And Wallaceburg thanks YOU!
A. Wallace Burger Esq.