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Former residents give Elliot Lake arena campaign a $300K boost

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After winning the $250,000 Kraft Hockeyville competition last month, there is more good news from Elliot Lake.

The community kicked off its campaign to raise its portion of the money to pay for repairs to the arena and two former residents started that effort with a bang.

Former residents Jamie and Jo-Ann Armstrong, who now live in Arizona, heard about Elliot Lake’s recent efforts and they knew they wanted to help.

“Not having a hockey rink in a small town in Northern Ontario is not something that is proper,” Jamie said.

“So when I saw the success you had with Hockeyville, I thought I needed to step up and help with this. So that’s why we did it.”

The family is donating $300,000 to kick-start the community’s fundraising campaign, which aims to raise at least $500,000 to repair Centennial Arena.

Former residents Jamie and Jo-Ann Armstrong, who now live in Arizona, heard about Elliot Lake’s recent efforts and they knew they wanted to help. They donated $300,000. (Photo form video)

The remainder will be raised with the help of the community and some groups have even started.

“It’s not $300,000, but we did collect some funds over the Hockeyville weekend (at) the rally voting party, and we’re looking to donate that towards this fund,” said Amanda McKay of Elliot Lake Minor Hockey.

 “We’re looking forward to coming up with a plan on how we can raise funds for the rest.”

Centennial Arena closed last fall for structural reasons. Mayor Andrew Wannan estimates it will cost $5 million to $6 million to complete the work.

“We’re hoping that people come up with some ideas or offer other avenues to maybe help out and we just have to wait and see, but it’s an exciting start to keeping this going,” Wannan said.

“I just love Elliot Lake. This is my home … and, yep, they all know it. We’re all part of the team.”

A banner is expected to hang on the fencing around centennial arena, showing the progress of the Community Fundraising campaign.

It’s expected to wrap up at the end of August.

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