By Kirk Starratt
Her enthusiasm for hockey was obvious to those who knew her, making an annual tournament enjoyed by children across the county a fitting tribute to Hannah Miller’s memory.
Hannah was a seven-year-old hockey player in the Acadia Minor Hockey Quick Start program. In the spring of 2005, shortly after the end of her first season of hockey, she was tragically killed in a car accident in Port Williams.
Since Acadia University Recreation Management students organized the first Hannah Miller Memorial hockey tournament in 2006, the annual event has grown by leaps and bounds.
Her mother, Priscilla Miller, said there were 30 teams involved in this year’s tournament, held March 10 at Wolfville’s Acadia Arena. The players are boys and girls age four to six. She said it’s the most they’ve ever had, as teams from all over Nova Scotia have joined in.
“It’s so exciting to have a legacy that’s so positive for all the kids in the community,” Priscilla said. “It’s something we look forward to every year.”
She said the event is all based on volunteerism and fun. Miller appreciates the efforts of all the Acadia students who take the tournament on as a project. This year’s student co-ordinators included Maria Patterson, Tyler Dillman, Caitlin MacDonald, Krystyne Lawson and Courtney Loughran. Many more students volunteered to help make the tournament a success.
Among the Acadia student volunteers was Hannah’s sister, Emily Miller. Emily said she really likes the annual memorial tournament.
“It’s a good way to remember her and what she liked to do,” Emily said.
Hannah’s other sister, Jillian, said she thinks the number of kids that come to play hockey and remember Hannah is great.
Hannah’s dad, Greg Miller, added that he thinks the Acadia Minor Hockey Quick Start program “has done a tremendous job getting kids in hockey at a minimal cost.”
Matthew Spinney, a seven-year-old Acadia Minor Hockey player from Port Williams, was looking forward to his two games of the day. He was excited, as it was his first time playing in the tournament and his first season of hockey. Spinney said he likes to skate and is thinking about playing again next year.
“They have fun games,” he added.
Priscilla said she is thankful to Hannah’s hockey coach, Dr. Rene Murphy, for spearheading the Hannah Miller Memorial Fund, a not-for-profit organization that operates under a board made up of representatives from Acadia University, the Acadia Minor Hockey Association and community members. The annual March Break tournament for beginner players is associated with the fund.
The fund gives back to the hockey community by providing financial relief for underprivileged minor hockey players, creating opportunities for female hockey development and initiatives and awarding an annual scholarship to an Acadia University student.
Fun, food and fundraising
Acadia students are organizing a fundraiser March 21 at Boston Pizza for the Hannah Miller Memorial Fund, says Hannah’s sister, Emily Miller.
Seven-year-old Hannah was killed in a car accident in Port Williams in 2005.
The fund, a not-for-profit organization, raises money to help finance underprivileged hockey players in the Acadia Minor Hockey Association, promote female hockey and award an annual scholarship to an Acadia student.
Hockey Night at BP tickets include a starter Caesar salad, one of four choices of main course and a beverage.
All the details…
What: Dinner and auction
When: March 21, 6 p.m.
Where: Boston Pizza, New Minas
Tickets: $20, 678-2913 or email@example.com