It was a memorable weekend on the pond at Spring Lake Park as the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic held its 10th anniversary. Weather kept the adult players off the ice on Saturday, but by Sunday morning it was the perfect pond hockey weather. With people of all ages and skill levels participating in games throughout the day, ideal outdoor hockey conditions, and the spirit of Anthony on the ice, the Mankato community was in for an extra special day.
Whether you were having your parents tie your skates, or lacing them up with old high school and college teammates, players gathered around the pond to battle to take home the 2018 Anthony Ford Cup. In between games, people huddled in the warming house while chatting about hockey, purchasing apparel, and enjoying food and drinks. During the day, over 230 games were played, two new rinks were unveiled, and one rink was dedicated to the memory of Anthony.
Countless volunteers and committee members supported every aspect of the event, making sure things ran smoothly and successfully. At the same time, generous sponsors donated to the cause to ensure this weekend was possible. The community came together to raise money to find a cure for childhood leukemia, and to help keep hockey affordable for young hockey players striving to reach their dreams. It was an unforgettable day on the pond for everyone involved.
In the spirit of Anthony’s dream of one day becoming the next “Great One” the Anthony Ford Fund was created in 2007 by friends and family of Anthony Ford and has since donated more than $100,000 to Pediatric Cancer Research and United Way's Connecting Kids. AF99 is committed to providing affordable opportunities to grow the hockey culture in our area.
In January 2009, the pond hockey tradition began on Lake Washington about 10 miles outside Mankato, MN. The journey started by building rinks of snow and has since evolved into 12 new rinks with NiceRink boards. In 2016, our event moved to Spring Lake Park in beautiful lower North Mankato which has proven to be a wonderful setting for pond hockey. The new pond is near the city center of the Mankato/North Mankato area.
The Anthony Ford Cup