Glace Bay's 'Tickemaster' is a fundraising legend in minor hockey circles
Kenny Cunningham has put his grandson through minor hockey for free and helped so many other kids do the same.
Over the past decade, the 75-year-old Cunningham has earned himself a reputation as Glace Bay Minor Hockey's "Ticketmaster."
"Mitchell never paid a red cent for hockey," Cunningham says of his grandson. "He bought all his gear out of minor hockey money."
It all started back in 2010, when his grandson Mitchell played his first season of Timbits.
He didn't stop until his Mitchell played his final game of midget, last season.
"I sold 187,575 tickets," Cunningham said.
James Edwards is president of Glace Bay Minor Hockey and says the fact that anyone could sell nearly a fifth of a million tickets is almost hard to believe.
"That's just an amazing stat, when you think about it," Edwards said.
But that his dedication and spirit is something most Canadians could relate to.
"I'm sure there's a Kenny Cunningham in many communities across the country," Edwards said. "But as far as Glace Bay is concerned, again he's a real trailblazer."
Cunningham's ticket-selling days have come to an end now that his grandson has graduated from minor hockey.
But this weekend, the Glace Bay Association has something in the works for its first draw of the new season -- as a simple way of saying thank you.
"We're going to have an honourary person select the ticket this coming Sunday," Edwards said. "And we're going to ask Mr. Cunningham if he would be so kind as to make the draw for us."
Nearly as impressive as his ticket sales are the meticulous records Cunningham has kept in scrapbooks at home.
He's listed every week's ticket sales -- and the names of every winner.
And this weekend, he's happy to be picking a new one.
"I'm proud to sell the tickets," Cunningham said. "Because I'm so used to selling them, and handling them. I know how to handle the ticket -- and I can pick a winner. I might pick myself!"
And for now, he isn't minding his new nickname.
"I've been called worse, so I would enjoy it," Cunningham said. "I would enjoy being called 'Glace Bay's Ticketmaster.'"