SARTELL -- Central Minnesota hockey players took advantage of the warm weather this weekend.

The 6th Granite City Pond Hockey Championships were held at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course.

Gary Hines is the director of the Minnesota Youth Foundation. He says the event raises money for local youth hockey programs.

What we’ve done in the past is donated money to St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, River Lakes, Little Falls, to their youth hockey organizations. That’s what we want to continue to do is expand on that where we can donate those monies to those youth organizations. And then they in turn can use those monies to help families be involved in hockey.

The three-day event gave players of all ages a chance to connect and share their love of the sport. Hines says many of the players in the tournament once played for central Minnesota teams.

There’s so many local people that played high school hockey in the area. We’d love to see them coming back and playing.

The tournament was first held in 2012 at Lake George.

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