We did it, Clinton. We won!
Yes, we won the amazing Kraft Hockeyville USA title, but we won something else, too.
I would say we also won first place in community spirit.
Since the announcement of the Hockeyville competition, I saw a small community come together in a major way.
Every corner in the village had a sign reminding residents to vote for the Clinton Arena. After you’d say hello to your neighbor, the next question was, “How many times did you vote?” And, “Can you believe we have to keep proving we are not robots?” (It’s a joke those who voted will understand.)
I walked into the Clinton Arena before the big Friday night vote-a-thon party, and I saw lifelong Clinton resident Janice Hogan voting on one of the arena’s only computers. She told me how she remembered the day the original arena burned down and the day they opened the rebuilt one.
I asked her how many times had she voted. “About 75,” she said. “But I’ll be here until 11 p.m., so I’ll be voting more.”
There it is. That’s the additional win we received—community spirit at the very root of the term.
The day the winner of Hockeyville was going to be announced, I was in Rochester helping family move. While traveling the Thruway as a passenger, I voted for the Clinton Arena so many times I forgot.
I fought through car sickness to get last-minute votes in before the 11 a.m. deadline Saturday. And I somehow was gifted with superhuman strength that day because I powered through lugging around couches and beds to be back on the Thruway and in Clinton by 3 p.m., around the time the Hockeyville announcement was to take place.
Many of us have a dedication to community so deep, voting was a must no matter what.
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