The hockey arena in Eganville was packed on Sunday, as the community came together to turn a tragedy into a fundraising celebration.
The Eganville Minor Hockey Association held the first Lisa Sharpe Memorial Tournament. More than 50 teenage hockey players took to the ice for the competition.
The death of Sharpe, a daycare worker and “hockey mom”, rocked Eganville in January.
EMHA President Kevin Seguin says the hockey community felt it was important to do something for Sharpe, who he says was a “behind the scenes” hockey volunteer.
“Lisa was a really huge figure in our town, extremely soft-spoken voice,” he says. “She did not like the spotlight. She did not like any kind of accolades for anything. She just did her thing.
“Her youngest son was involved in minor hockey, so she was at the rink quite often, encouraging him. Just being around town, she was a great free-spirited woman who loved kids and loved to help out the community.”
The tournament was held with the blessing of Sharpe’s family, some of whom participated in an opening faceoff. The money raised will go to The Phoenix Centre, a Pembroke-based organization that supports families with mental health.
“Tears weren’t necessarily shed but the hugs and the pats on the back and the total understanding of what we were there for was definitely prevalent,” Seguin added.
“We filled the tournament with team sponsors and kids and we had the house packed pretty much the entire day. Whether they were involved in hockey in any way, they came out to watch and buy raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets to raise some money.”
Seguin says he hopes the tournament will be a annual event. He says the amount of money that was raised is still being counted.