The Kinsmen Club of Tillsonburg was recognized with a Service Award at the District 1 Convention hosted by the Fonthill and District Kinsmen Club at Niagara College the first weekend in June.
The Club put together a detailed account of their NHL 100 Fan Tour project held last August, submitted it, and won the Myrtle Wilson/George & Mildred Sinclair Service Award for the best service project in District 1, which extends from Windsor to Collingwood to Niagara Falls.
The Kinsmen Club of Wallaceburg was the runner-up with their local Bingo Hall project.
The Kinsmen Club of Tillsonburg, with their partnering volunteers along with Town staff, logged over 10,000 hours to stage the Gala event on the Thursday night (with guest speaker Ron MacLean) that raised $68,000 of which, $50,000 has been donated to The J.L. Scott McLean Memorial Fund to help build the outdoor pad behind the Kinsmen Memorial Arena.
The Club also used the project to grow their membership adding three new members this past year.
The three-day Centennial Fan Arena, free to the public, drew over 10,000 people that weekend and put Tillsonburg on the hockey map, as it was the only community in North America outside of the NHL team cities, to have all the assets of the NHL traveling project together at one time, including the Rogers Hometown Hockey trailer.
Obviously Tillsonburg's own Colin Campbell, NHL executive vice president, had a lot to do with getting the NHL to bring the show to town and he and his wife Heather personally contributed to the weekend as well.
The Kinsmen Club will now resubmit the project for the Hal and Elspeth Rogers National Service Award at their National Convention to be held in Sarnia this coming August.
The late Hal Rogers was the founder of the first Kinsmen Club in Hamilton in 1920.
The Club last won the District 1 award and then went on to participate in the National Service Awards competition in 1994 held in Regina. There they were runners-up that year to Brockville for spearheading and participation in the Lake Lisgar Renaissance Project, which they have continued to support for 25 years by maintaining the fountain in the lake for all to enjoy.