2022 community bc storm 960  e n

Helping in a time of need

When a historic weather event caused devastating flooding and landslides in British Columbia, the hockey community came together to help affected residents and teams

Shannon Coulter
January 17, 2022

The hockey community is unlike any other. In times of need, hockey families across the country have proved time and time again that they are ready and willing to help their communities.

When record-breaking rainfall hit southwestern British Columbia in November, several local hockey associations came together to support communities that were impacted by devastating flooding and landslides. Here are a few ways these associations and teams worked to help.

Summerland Minor Hockey Association

The Princeton Posse may be a long-time rival of the Summerland Jets, but that rivalry was set aside to put community first after the destructive flooding. When Summerland’s U9 team hosted the Posse, players, parents and staff organized a food drive to send some essential items back with the Posse’s families. Along with the food drive, the team made goody bags for each Princeton player that included packs of Pokemon and hockey cards.

Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Association

After hosting the Merritt Centennials, the Vernon Junior Vipers’ U11 Development C team invited its opponents for a pizza dinner in a dressing room. Players from the Vipers helped to set up the dressing room before the game, hoping the small gesture would make the Centennials feel supported by other communities in B.C.

There was another act of kindness by the association when the Abbotsford Hawks, who were supposed to travel to Vernon for a tournament, had to cancel their travel plans due to the flooding. According to the GVMHA’s Facebook page, participants and spectators at the tournament worked together to raise $1,000 for the Hawks ahead of the holiday season.

Penticton Vees — British Columbia Hockey League

Following a weekend win in Trail, B.C., the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies travelled to Penticton for what was originally planned to be an overnight stay. However, with the historic storm, the team was stuck and unable to travel home.

With the unexpected extended stay, the Penticton Vees stepped up and gave the Grizzlies a dressing room and ice to practice on while they were in town.

"When the puck drops, we want to beat the other team, but we're partners and we wanted to make sure we made their stay as comfortable as possible," Vees president, head coach and general manager Fred Harbinson told CTV News.

Squamish Minor Hockey Association

After the Squamish Eagles U13 A2 team had a game against Chilliwack cancelled due to the storm, the players decided to run a food drive instead. The team gathered outside a local grocery store to encourage shoppers to help fill a hockey net with food to support the Fraser Valley flood victims.

With support from the Cloverdale Community Kitchen for distribution, the Eagles raised $530 and gathered several boxes of food for those affected in Chilliwack.

Mission Minor Hockey Association

When the Mission Stars heard about the historic flooding, the association organized a “Fill the Trailer“ event. From non-perishable food items to things like blankets, winter jackets, socks and toiletries, the Stars ran the event for four hours at a community centre all to give back to communities affected by the storms.

Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association

The Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey U18 C1 team was preparing for a hockey tournament in Abbotsford when the flooding occurred. When the team saw the devastating impact in Abbotsford, it decided to donate $300 to the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund to support Abbotsford hockey families and others affected by the flooding.

Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association

The Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association had previously planned a 50/50 draw for its U21 team in December. After the destructive storms in November, the association also wanted to use its fundraiser to support the flood relief efforts. Cloverdale announced that 25 per cent of the proceeds from its 50/50 draw would support victims of the flooding.

North Delta Minor Hockey Association

The North Delta Minor Hockey Association decided to organize an association-wide bottle drive to support the residents of Merritt, B.C., who were evacuated due to flooding. The idea was created and spearheaded by Tam Manery, who was inspired to run the drive when her son’s tournament in Merritt was cancelled.

Although the weather could have been better during the bottle drive, parents and players helped with picking up and sorting bottles. The association says there was a steady stream of bottles and generous cash donations, which will all go towards a great cause.

Thank you to these hockey teams, and to everyone who stepped up to help their surrounding communities in a time of need. Your positive impacts in your communities have inspired us all to make a difference.

Do you have an idea for a Community story? Let’s hear it!

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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