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NEWS Thursday, May 15, 2014

Jessica Trineer • Works: Student, London Knights employee • Volunteer role: Help wherever needed • Why volunteer: “For my Mom (the volunteer chair). It’s good to help her out. I do anything she asks me to do. I like hockey, obviously.”

Ron Combs • Works: Grocery store manager • Volunteer role: Vice chair of

volunteers • Why volunteer: “I think every time the city puts on a huge event, you want to make the city look good. You get a lot out of it. It’s good to welcome the people, the tourists. It’s just a lot of fun.”

From left, Memorial Cup volunteers Nancy Stanlick, Jessica Trineer and Ron Combs, along with volunteer chair Brenda Trineer, will swing into action well before the first puck drops on Friday. Angela Mullins/Metro

Memorial Cup’s mighty 500

Nancy Stanlick • Works: Retired nurse • Volunteer role: Accreditation, help out at headquarters • Why volunteer: “Because the people are so nice. I’ve met great friends, and I’m still friends with the ladies I met in 2005. You meet the nicest people.”

Volunteers. A huge part of the 10-day tournament DAve Langford

It only took five hours for the Memorial Cup organizing committee to persuade more than 500 volunteers to regis-

ter online for the festival. But it took much more time to get police record checks done on each and every one of them, a challenge the chair of the volunteer committee did not have to face in 2005. Brenda Trineer was chair when the Memorial Cup tournament hit town the first time and is facing the same challenge again. “We could have done it honestly four weeks ago and still been organized and ready to go this weekend, but we went in January because we knew the amount of time the police would need to process the police record

checks,” Trineer said. Trineer said the police checks were not a requirement in 2005, but the Canadian Hockey League insisted it be done this time around. The fee for volunteers was $10 each, Trineer said. “This was a huge undertaking — obviously, there were people that we needed to be aware of in 2005 as well — but it just kind of gives you a flavour of society and the environment that we work in,” she said. “Nobody trusts anybody anymore and I get that for liability reasons.” Trineer worked with the London police department to make certain it wouldn’t be

a case of “500 volunteers all storming the police station to try and get these things done in time.” Despite the added challenge, everything has gone smoothly in the lead-up, including two long days of orientation at the Western Fair District, Trineer said. “Last time when we did this in 2005, it was the first time so a lot of people were starting to lose sleep,” Trineer said. “We feel now like we aren’t reinventing the wheel, and we have a really good handle on it.” The jobs for volunteers are plentiful and include manning Fanfest, beer tents, the

media room, accreditation, charity fundraising and security. “Security was huge,” Trineer said. “I would say 100 per cent of the security — because we recruited a bunch of police officers this time — are police officers. So that’s going to be handled well.” And when the event’s finished on May 25, all the volunteers will be treated to a dinner, courtesy of Joe Kool’s, in the beer tent before it is taken down. Is everything ready to rock and roll? “We are so organized it’s scary,” Trineer said. “We are ready to go.”

Beer tent a boom or bust? Introducing newbies to London’s hockey hubbub The enormous Budweiser Beer Garden in place for the Memorial Cup will draw crowds, but that could hurt the tournament’s expected spinoff for local businesses. With a festive atmosphere and live entertainment, the tent near King and Talbot streets will be a beacon for ticket holders and others wanting to soak up the excitement. The question some are asking is whether people will make that the first stop of their evening or the only stop. Janette MacDonald, execu-

tive director of the Downtown London business association, thinks the tent will draw people that wouldn’t normally venture into the core. But, she knows not everyone will be happy about it. “It’s encouraging people who don’t have tickets to come down and do a few things in the downtown,” she said. “Obviously you’re always going to have someone who complains. Last time, we had people bitterly complain, but you can’t please everybody all the time, and not every event

is going to boost every single business.” Milos Kral, owner of Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium on Talbot Street, will compress separate lunch and dinner menus into one and likely add extra staff throughout the tournament just in case the crowds float his way. “I think that by default there will be lots of people around the city for 10 days, so no matter what somebody will benefit from it,” he said. “They have to eat and sleep somewhere.” Scott Taylor/Metro

Seasoned hockey fans aren’t the only ones getting excited about the Memorial Cup. Newbies to the sport, and London, are also poking their noses into all the action happening around Budweiser Gardens. Braham Harrison from the London International Academy took students from China for a stroll near King and Talbot streets on Wednesday as crews continued setup for the hockey

Braham Harrison, second from left, with students from the London International Academy. Scott Taylor/Metro

tournament. It was a hands-on lesson to

explain exactly what all the hubbub is about. metro