On Sunday, September 7, 2014 in New Sarepta, a demolition derby in support of minor hockey entertained 1600 spectators despite Mother Nature’s grumpy mood.
They were prepared for hard fun and did not care about a little rain. The event offered twenty three cars and three trucks ready for crushing action, a friendly gate fee, a concession, a bouncy castle and free face painting for the young ones courtesy of Leduc County; it all added up to another successful New Sarepta Demolition Derby.
In its 33rd year, the largest annual New Sarepta Minor Hockey Association (NSMHA) fundraiser was held on a cool and rainy Saturday afternoon, on New Sarepta’s Centre Street, behind Alberta Rig Mats who is one of its sponsors.
Volunteers cheerfully greeted the large crowd of spectators, and the wet and cool weather did not dampen the prevailing excitement at the upcoming action. Heats for full-sized cars, trucks, medium-sized cars and minis took place in a quick succession. The action was so fierce, that following the Powder Puff (for ladies only), there were no cars left for the anticipated ‘Grudge Match’!
To prepare for a Demolition Derby, cars must be stripped of all glass, mirrors, lights and chrome – sometimes, even of all paint! Surprising the Derby organizers, a CHED Radio News van showed up well before the event, and distributed a whole lot of free rain ponchos; it was perceived as a generous, friendly gesture!
The Derby committee chair is Dennis Levasseur, a former competitor himself and father of two former New Sarepta hockey players, a son and a daughter. Although his kids are all grown now, supporting NS Minor Hockey has become a big part of Dennis’ life, so he continues each year to invest a great amount of time and energy in the Derby, earning his rumored title of Community Champion. He is happy the day went well, and safely. Despite two crowd-pleasing rollovers and a lot of spectacular collisions, there were no injuries reported.
Like other Committee members, Jennifer Charette juggled summer activities and the return to school of her two hockey kids while helping plan and coordinate the Demolition Derby. Articulate and energetic, Jennifer was happy to share her views of this event and the efforts required to organize it.
“It was a good Derby day,” she shared, “as there wasn’t much left of any car!!”
Latest non-official reports show Neil Wynacht as the overall event winner, taking home an attractive purse, although, “they’re all winners” shared Jennifer, adding that all the heat winners should be listed soon at NSMHA.ca/newsareptaminorhockey.
Both Jennifer and Dennis Levasseur enthusiastically shared that the success of the New Sarepta Demolition Derby is, “entirely due to all the competitors, the spectators, the sponsors and, of course, the volunteers, without whom the event could not happen!” and they wished, “all hockey parents and players out there a safe and fun season!
Photo submitted by Brandi Nordstrom