The Allard Family pledged $6,000 from the Feb. 16-18 Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Tournament to Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart. This donation was matched for a total of $12,000 going to help young people in Renfrew County play hockey. Presenting the cheque are, from left Tyson Allard, Owner of Canadian Tire Pembroke Rick Johnson, Justin Allard, Shane and Linda Allard, Kyle Allard, Reverend James Beamish, Cole Allard and Regional Manager with Jumpstart Cam Whalen. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Before the first annual Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Tournament, all 12 siblings and their parents posed for a picture. They stood in in order of birth with parents Linda and Shane Allard holding Ethan’s #9 sweater and Shawn, Jamie, Justin, Adam, Kyle, Tyson, Holly, Hope, Cole, Faith, Paige and Felicity Allard. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
It is brother against brother when the Petewawa Redskins and Petawawa Patriots hit the ice for the first game of the three-day tournament.(Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Ethan Allard Hockey Tournament honours generous soul, raises funds for Jumpstart
By Patricia Lebeouf
Posted on Thursday March 8, 2018
Ethan Allard lived by his favourite quote, “You never get poor by giving.” It was so ingrained in him that it’s impossible to think of him without thinking of his generosity and kindness.
“Ethan had this disposition that was full of life,” said his mother Linda Allard. “He was full of the spirit of life.” As a mother, she had always been humbled by how loving and kind Ethan was, and how close his relationship was with God. His heart was so large that it continues to influence people even after he passed away.
Ethan died last year in a workplace accident at a construction site in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood. He was 24-years-old. To honour of his life, his family organized the first annual Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Tournament. “I just feel such gratitude that something as devastating as (his death) inspired people to make something good,” said Linda.
Though he was not there, his parents and his 12 siblings could feel his presence throughout the three-day tournament. “We are full of joy, full of happiness and we are celebrating this amazing event as a large family,” said Linda. “It is a very emotional time and there will be many, many cries but they will be filled with joy.”
The tournament helped raise $6,000 for Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart, a donation matched by Jumpstart for a total of $12,000. The funds will be used to help children from families in financial need in Renfrew County play hockey. Last year, the local chapter of Jumpstart raised $70,400, which allowed 753 kids to get involved in sports.
“Now, with this $12,000, we’ll already be able to help 60 kids in 2018 as it averages out to about $200 ... to enroll them in a sport and cover equipment costs,” said Rick Johnson, owner of Canadian Tire Pembroke.
The cheque was presented at the opening ceremonies, after the singing of “O’ Canada” by the Petawawa Military Wives Choir and a blessing by Reverend James Beanish. Helping kids and getting them involved in sports was one of Ethan’s biggest passions.
“(Like Ethan) I do believe that every Canadian boy and girl should be able to play the game of hockey,” said Cole Allard. “That is our national sport. So that’s my goal. To make sure everybody has the opportunity to play.”
The tournament was held from Feb. 16 to 18 at the Petawawa Civic Centre. There were 16 teams playing in four divisions, some travelling from as far away as the United States to put their stick to the ice.
“A lot of people knew Ethan, a lot of people knew the family so there has been a lot of support,” said Cole. “The support hasn’t just been from here but from everywhere.” He was initially surprised to see so many participating and being so generous.
In the Recreational A Division, the Wild Emus took home the prize. In the Recreational B Division, the Blues won. The Open Division held a joint final where the Petewawa Redskins were crowned the winners. While most of the focus was on the ice, there was also entertainment off the rink with RY-J’s Climbing Adventures, mini stick, prizes, raffles and live music on location.
Putting on such a large tournament required a lot of work, but it went smoothly with the help of the entire family, all of whom showed up for the event. “We couldn’t have done this without everybody chipping in,” said Cole. “Everybody has been really, really awesome.”