By Cole Parkinson
For Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
While concertgoers flocked to Taber in early August for the first annual Cornstock music festival, little did they know they would also be helping out local hockey players. During the festival, the Taber Titans Charity set up shop to help handle “adult refreshments” and things went exceptionally well.
“The Taber Titans’ involvement with Cornstock began well over a year ago,” explained Taylor Gouw, president of the Taber Titans. “You could say the perfect storm merged up as Ken Holst was just starting Spider Entertainment around the same time we got going — the partnership has been rock solid. Ken and his crew have been one of the Titans’ major supporters and Ken let us take on a major part of Cornstock in that of the beer gardens.”
With tons of great bands in town, the event saw a major influx of people heading into Taber. And the Titans were happy to be able to be a part of the first Cornstock event. Looking back at the entire weekend, the Titans have nothing but good things to report after a rousing event.
“The experience was incredible. This is something we would love to be a part of as the festival grows and (we) can’t wait to see where it could be for years to come,” added Gouw. “All of the patrons were very laid back, positive, and just excited for something of this nature to be in Taber. As a group it was awesome to see the support of a community and surrounding communities and to learn about the Taber Titans and our hopeful impact on Taber.”
When all was said and done, the charity was also able to pull in quite a few dollars for their cause. It was an entire team effort and Gouw says the volunteers for the Titans were pulling some long days — but it was well worth it.
“You could say we definitely exceeded our goal as a charity and we were able to push forward on some of the goals we had as an organization. Our team really stepped up for the Cornstock weekend — some members were working 14-15 hour days for no personal gain.”
Overall, the team was able to raise enough money to cover hockey registration for the entire 2023-24 season for the U5 and U7 Taber Minor Hockey Oil Kings.
“With the patrons of Cornstock support, we were able to start our first pilot project. And with the hockey season coming up, this is where we decided as a group would be the best fit. We won’t stop there — with more community support we hope to knock the doors open for all of our minor sports at the beginning levels and have the registration be completely free,” explained Gouw.
More work is on the way for the Titans and while the group is still in its infancy stage, goals are being smashed along the way. The team is hopeful they can continue to make sports affordable for young kids in Taber through the next several years.
“All of our Titans members grew up playing some kind of sport as a child and most of us are still playing or trying to make an impact in those sports today. We know life has challenges and the last couple of years have been trying. Sports have always been a spot for me to fall back on when times get tough as it’s way bigger than just the game. To be able to get kids playing sports when maybe they couldn’t beforehand is just one of many ways we would like to help,” stated Gouw.
If you know of anyone under the age of seven that is looking to try hockey this upcoming season, you can register at http://www.taberminorhockey.com. If you have any issues with registration, you can contact Gouw at 403-894-8589 or Steven Stronge at 403-308-3717.