SPRINGHILL – The TSN/Kraft Celebration Tour rolled through Springhill Tuesday night leaving behind several Highlights of the Night.
The first highlight was at 5:30 p.m. when 13-year-old Jayden MacPhee was presented with the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.
MacPhee is the first recipient of the award, and the award is also named after him.
“Getting the volunteer award from the Lions Club felt great. It was awesome,” said MacPhee.
The next highlight started at 6 p.m. when a $25,000 cheque was presented to the Town of Springhill Revitalization Committee.
That highlight was followed by another highlight at 7 p.m. when sports anchors Jennifer Hedger and Nabil Karim hit the stage for a live broadcast of TSN SportsCentre.
Highlights of the broadcast included a spotlight on Springhill’s mining history, a segment featuring Jim ‘Pokey’ Melansons devotion and dedication to the Springhill Fencebusters, both past and present, and a feature on Springhill’s geothermal resource.
Hundreds of people came out to enjoy the festivities.
“It rained a couple times but I knew the sun was going to come out. I knew it. I felt it,” said MacPhee.
Mark Joseph, a member of the town’s revitalization committee, said the event provided a shot in the arm for the town of
Joseph wrote the nomination letter that brought the Kraft/TSN Celebration Tour to Springhill.
Hedger says she loves the volunteer spirit people like Joseph bring to communities like Springhill.
“The cool thing about going to small towns is that it’s all about the people,” said Hedger before she took to the stage with Karim. “This kid Jayden, he’s a precocious and impressive kid, and Mark, who is the gentleman who submitted the nomination, he’s been great, and we met Pokey yesterday and joked around with him.”
“I don’t know what it is about small towns but the people make you feel like you’ve known them forever,” he said.
The feeling is mutual.
“I met Jennifer and Nabil yesterday,” said Joseph. “They are two very down to earth people and very personable.”
Springhill is one of 10 communities across Canada to receive a cheque for $25,000 from Kraft/TSN, and the town is now in the running to win an additional $75,000.
The winner will be announced during the Aug. 25 broadcast of SportsCentre at 7 p.m.
“Win or lose, we still got picked top 10, we had a great day in Springhill, the kids had a fun day, and we had a live broadcast in a town that many people feel is a little down in the dumps,” said Joseph.
Gerald Porter attended the event with his two nephews, Colby Hachey and Zachary Dube. He says they had a great time.
“All the stuff they had for kids was great, and the food was great as well. The kids loved it,” said Porter. “And Springhill needed the publicity to show we’re still on the map.”
The $25,000 will be used to provide better drainage to the baseball fields in Lions Park, and if Springhill wins the $75,000 the money will be used to upgrade the concrete pad at the park.
Joseph thanked the revitalization committee for all their hard work.
“If it wasn’t for the revitalization committee members having their specific parts this wouldn’t have been possible,” he said. “It was the committee that was involved that got things done.”
He also thanked all the people who voted for Springhill in the contest and the people who came out to the park on Tuesday.
“I recognized faces from Oxford, Amherst, Parrsboro, Southampton and other areas, and that’s what the main focus was,” said Joseph. “It wasn’t just Springhill, it was everybody.”
MacPhee said he had a great time.
“It went exactly like I thought it was going to go. It was awesome,” he said.
“I was pleased with all the people who came out to support Springhill,” he added. “TSN doesn’t come around here every day, so it was awesome to have them here.”
The final Highlight of the Night was after the broadcast. That’s when Hedger and Karim signed autographs and got their pictures taken with fans.
The signing sessions started just after 8 p.m. and wrapped up at about 10 p.m.