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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Bill Jones 3-on-3 Tourney buys appreciation lunch for Iler Lodge staff

Lee Jones, a founding volunteer with the former Bill Jones 3-on-3 Hockey Tournament, presents Krystal Labonte, Executive Director of Iler Lodge, with a pizza, chicken, and salad lunch that was provided to the essential workers at the long-term care facility last Wednesday as a show of appreciation.

by Sylene Argent Last Wednesday, Lee Jones, one of the founders of the Bill Jones 3-on-3 hockey tournament, made a special delivery to Iler Lodge to show support to the essential staff members who are caring for residents through the COVID-19 pandemic.   Jones said though the final 3-on-3 tournament was held last year, after 18-successsful seasons, there was still some money left in the reserve. Since the tournament raised funds to support local sporting needs, community causes, and individuals in need, Jones thought buying lunch for the Iler Lodge staff members as a way to say ‘thank-you’ for their dedication to their residents during the pandemic would be a great way to spend some of the remaining funds.   Since puck dropped at the first tournament, held inside the former Essex Memorial Arena in 2002, the Bill Jones 3-on-3 tournament has raised over $400,000, which has gone back into the community in some way.   The annual tournament was implemented as a memorial event for Lee’s father, Bill, who was an avid volunteer. Bill passed away in April of 2001,   To ensure as many of the staff members got to enjoy a lunch of pizza, chicken, and salad as possible, Jones ordered take-out for all three shifts at Iler Lodge.    The generous donation of lunch for the staff members at Iler Lodge from the Bill Jones 3-on-3 Tournament was not the first gesture of appreciation from the community. Recently, the staff members enjoyed a community drive-by that Councillor Kim Verbeek arranged and gifts that Mayor Larry Snively arranged with the help of local businesses.

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