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Backyard rink raises big bucks for charity

The Canadian Press
January 28, 2013 — The Churchill family never expected to build a hockey rink in their Newfoundland yard that would raise thousands of dollars for children's charities. But when their son Carter was born deaf and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Todd Churchill got to work.

The rink is a labour of love that is raising funds for children's charities
The rink is a labour of love that is raising funds for children's charities

A Newfoundland father's backyard hockey rink is a labour of love that is raising funds for children's charities while drawing attention from around the world.

Todd Churchill built the detailed ice surface, about a quarter of the size of an NHL rink, with painted boards, lines and face-off circles. 

He did it for Carter, his almost two-year-old son, who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is deaf.

Churchill spent about $10,000 of his own cash and more than six months building the rink in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, a community near St. John's. 

The full-time engineer says he now rents it out in exchange for donations that go 100 per cent to charities for children. They include local chapters of Easter Seals, Rainbow Riders and the Mazol Shriners. 

Churchill says the rink has so far raised about $30,000 and that emails of support have arrived from across the globe.

"It's just tremendous," he said Saturday before another fundraising tournament, this one involving four companies working on the Hebron offshore oil project. "I've gotten responses from all over the world and it's really hard to keep on top of emails right now. People are wanting to help or donate. I've had so many companies just come onboard." 

Churchill's wife Kimberly said the support has been especially rewarding after all the work he has done on his own. 

"I'm extremely proud of my husband for all the time and effort that he has put into this. It has been certainly a labour of love, that's for sure." 

Details of his campaign can be seen at

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