It was a hockey fanatic’s dream today in downtown Kingston.
The 5th annual Taylor Hall charity ball hockey tournament had 14 local teams competing.
Players had a chance to play with NHLers including Ryan Spooner and Ben Hunten.
But the real big draw is hometown boy, reigning NHL MVP, and host of the event, Taylor Hall.
“This is my hometown, this is where I tell people I’m from. To be able to come back and hold an event like this is a great feeling,” says Hall.
All proceeds from the charity tournament are being donated the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston, a place Hall knows well.
“I went to the boys and girls club as a kid and I found that it was a really good time for me. I thought it helped me out a lot,” says Hall.
That’s what brings him back every year.
“To be able to use my platform to help other people and have a good community event is great.”
Hall is a big inspiration for the aspiring hockey fans in Kingston.
Clayton Rose, a defenceman, from the Kingston Junior Frontenacs says he’s inspired by Hall because “he plays in the NHL and well, he’s pretty awesome. And he does all this stuff for charity for the Boys and Girls Club and I think that’s pretty awesome.”
Hall says a piece of advice for young aspiring players like Rose is to “follow your passion.”
“I love playing this game. I love ball hockey, watching hockey and playing hockey,” adds Hall. “That’s what’s really driven me.”
Tournament organizer Steve Douglas says, “If you look around you can see all the kids’ faces smiling and stuff. Having a chance to get a handshake or a picture or an autograph from someone like Taylor Hall is really important for this city and it’s great that he gives back.”
This year’s tournament has already raised about $20,000, but organizers are hoping to get close to their goal of $30,000after they do their final count.
Every year Hall’s tournament brings the community together for a good cause. Even though he’s playing in the big leagues, Hall’s still a Kingston boy at heart.
“I’m still just the guy from Kingston and I try to act that way,” says Hall.
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