Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Matt Carkner and the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Gear Up for the Carkinator Car and Moto Rally

Matt Carkner (Photo - TVOS)
During his time in the AHL with the Cleveland Barons, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Binghamton Senators and now in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators, defenseman Matt Carkner has always been very active in the community. Whether it is working with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and their Buddy Up campaign or the Capital City Condors, a hockey program for Ottawa children with special needs, he generously gives his time to help others and raise awareness of causes in need of support.

Now it’s time for the Sens Army and local hockey fans to support the rugged defenseman and his hometown of Winchester, Ontario. On June 25th, Carkner will host the 1st Annual Carkinator Car and Moto Rally, a fun-filled day of events to help raise funds for the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Starting at the Winchester Arena at 11 AM on June 25th, participants will head out on a designated route in their cars or on their motorcycles. Completing the car rally will take about 3.5 hours but it is not a race and speed is not the key to winning. There are various events along the route that will factor into your final score. Participating teams pledge to raise a minimum of $500 for the hospital foundation and there is a $50 registration fee, which can count towards your final fundraising total.

“We are trying to get as many people as we can involved,” Carkner said of the Rally. “It’s a neat idea, it’s something new; we brainstormed a few different ideas on what we wanted to do and everyone does golf tournaments so we came up with the idea for the car rally.”

“It is going to be a good, fun family day. It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt - there will be clues to help you get to where you need to go and the challenges at each of the pit stops will relate to sports. There will be basketball contests, mini-put challenges and a shootout with Jesse Winchester and me. It is going to be a lot of fun. At the end of the day, there is a big barbeque and face painting for the kids. We are going to make sure there is a lot of entertainment for everyone.”

The focus of the event is having fun while raising much-needed funds for the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation but there are some great rewards for the participants taking part in the rally too. Local businesses, which include Carkner’s Ottawa Senators, have offered tremendous prizes for the fundraisers.

“The first place fundraiser will get a suite for a Sens game next season for 16 guests and a limo ride to and from the game,” he explained. “There is also $1,000 worth of golf passes from Emerald Links, Cloverdale Links and Anderson Links, and $3,000 worth of golf clubs signed by the entire Ottawa Senators team. There are lots of great prizes, those are just a few.”

As the Honorary Chair of the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation, Carkner is hoping to shine the spotlight on the important work done at the hospital, while area residents, friends and fans explore his hometown of Winchester. The Carkinator Car and Moto Rally will be a great way to see a beautiful part of Ontario and learn more about the region. Having a world-class hospital in the area, which is also a rural teaching hospital affiliated with 14 universities and colleges, is vital to the health and well-being of Winchester area residents. Whether it is a medical emergency or long-term care situation, the ability to treat patients close to home saves lives and helps to ease the stress during a difficult situation for the patients and their families.

“We are hoping to have quite a few locals from the Winchester area but it would be neat to have some Sens fans come out to see what Winchester is all about while we’re supporting a great hospital. It is very important to have the Winchester Hospital in the area for all the people that may be on dialysis or need cancer treatments.”

“It’s very valuable to have a hospital in the community and we are hoping to keep it going throughout the years so we do not lose these treatment options and fundraising is a big part of that for sure! The Winchester Hospital serves a big area and it’s great for the whole community.”

Having spoken with Matt a few times about his work with the Capital City Condors, I had to ask, where did the name The Carkinator come from?

“I had that nickname about ten years ago. It stuck around for a while, then it went away and now I guess it’s coming back,” The Carkinator said with a laugh. “The organizers saw the name, I’m not sure where, but they loved it and we thought it would be appropriate for a car rally.”

A true role model, Matt continues to lead by example with his hard work and his generous spirit. Now it is our turn Sens fans - it is time to return the favour by supporting Matt and the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Make a donation and support Matt and Kary Carkner’s Team Carkinator

You can register your own team in the Carkinator Car and Moto Rally

Learn more about the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation and all the great work they do by visiting the WDMHF website

No comments: