Today is the day St. Adolphe residents have been waiting for.

Anyone who has taken a drive through the community in recent days will have taken note of yard signs, lawn decorations, and even painted vehicles all screaming the same thing: “Vote St. Adolphe For Kraft Hockeyville”.

The region has good reason to be energized. As one of four finalists in the Canada-wide Kraft Hockeyville contest, $250,000 is on the line. The prize winnings will go towards updating the arena of the community that receives the most votes. It is a prize, according to Lorrie Stade, that the St. Adolphe arena desperately needs.

“We just had an unfortunate series of events happen all at one time,” states Stade who applied for the grant months ago after their ice plant broke down and mould was discovered in their walls. “A quarter of a million dollars would go a long way to help repair the one building we have in town for everyone to come to.”

Hockey is the social fabric of the community, according to Stade.

While her community loves hockey with an icy-hot passion, she says the arena is a significant gathering place even to people who have no connection to the sport.

“Everybody comes there to watch hockey, to have coffee, to have meetings, to work; it’s our heartbeat,” she says. “That is where our community starts and we go out from there.”

The people of St. Adolphe have historically been huge supporters of the arena and the events it facilitates. However, according to Stade, that unwavering support has never been so apparent as in this final push to win the Kraft Hockeyville contest.

“People have been amazing, decorating their lawns, posting pictures on their social media accounts, telling people about us, it has just been a really great bonding experience for our town,” she details. “It is something positive that we can talk about.”

One resident at the forefront of the fanfare is Evelina Pescitelli who has become famous in recent days as the woman who painted her car.

It may look like vandalism, but it is actually community spirit, says Pescitelli .

“We had this 2003 Honda Civic that we use as our summer ‘kicking-around car’ and my husband asked me, ‘if I bought you some spray paint what would you do?’”

Hours later, Pescitelli had painted her vehicle with the vintage logo of their local hockey team, The St. Adolphe Hawks, intentionally misspelling the contest ‘Hawkeyville’.

“It looks like someone vandalized it and it is just ridiculously hilarious,” she comments. “I am a phys. ed. teacher and I am all about showing school spirit and so that just kind of transferred over into displaying spirit for our hometown which is just the best place to live.”

The significance of Pescitelli's Honda Civic sacrifice is not lost on Stade. “That’s commitment,” she laughs, expecting nothing less from the people in her community.

On the cusp of voting last night, the community gathered for a final send-off. Andrea Vermette of the recently-formed Kraft Hockeyville Rally Team Volunteer Committee, says the arena hosted a massive reverse parade. Specially designed floats sat in the parking lot while motorists drove past, and made their zeal known through hoots, hollers, and honking.

“We just wanted to say thank you to all of the St. Adolphe community members just for backing us up and give them one big pep rally before we get into the voting,” says Vermette of the event.

Unlimited voting is possible as of 8 AM this morning and will end late tomorrow afternoon. Anyone looking to show their support for St. Adolphe is encouraged to visit the Kraft Hockeyville website between now and tomorrow at 4 PM.

“You just register one email address and then you can vote as much as you can in those two days,” outlines Stade, “and we need people clicking!”

If St. Adolphe does win this contest, which has been ongoing now for 15 years, they will be the first Manitoba community to have ever done so.

The funding would go towards adding female changing rooms, buying a new ice plant, and getting rid of mould at the St. Adolphe arena.