Cranbrook 2019 Friendship Hockey Team/Facebook

Community comes together to help Cranbrook Friendship hockey

In less than one day the hockey team received more than $22,000 in donations for their trip to Japan

In a nine-hour span, the local community poured their support of more than $22,000 in donations to the Cranbrook 2019 Friendship Kootenay Ice hockey team.

“We were absolutely shocked,” said Crystal Kenyon, travel coordinator, Cranbrook Friendship hockey team.

“The whole thing is completely overwhelming. We are so grateful.”

On April 12 the team sent out a release that said after an internal financial audit they found more than $30,000 was misappropriated by a “trusted volunteer”. That was just 12 days before the team was set to travel to Japan for the Peewee International Friendship Hockey Tournament being held from April 27 to May 5.

“We wanted people to know directly from us so they had the proper information and not rumours. That’s why we chose to release the information,” said Kenyon.

READ MORE: Cranbrook Friendship hockey team alleges missing funds

The outpouring support from the community was not expected, especially to have so much donated to the club in a short time.

“We had no expectation,” said Kenyon. “We thought we were going to have to pitch in a bunch of money from parents’ pockets to deal with it. The community just wrapped their arms around us and helped.”

There were donations coming in from multiple locations all over the area to help the kids with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I know Cranbrook, Kimberley and people donated from their outlying areas. We had people coming to the home show [Kin Club of Cranbrook Outdoor and Recreation Show] on a regular basis looking for us so they could give us money. Some people gave us $5, $10 and $20, some people gave us a couple thousand. Businesses were challenging each other to get money for these kids — it was incredible,” said Kenyon.

In the tournament, there are teams attending from all over the world, but there is only one other Canadian team, the 2019 Aldergrove Friendship Hockey Team, which chipped in $2,500 when they found out about the Cranbrook club.

“They saw what was going on and they said ‘we know how hard it is to fundraise all of this money,’” said Kenyon, noting the team had fundraised more than $100,000 in 18 months for the trip.

There are 17 athletes that are set to go on the trip to Japan, and because of all the support, they will be able to go and do everything that was planned.

“We have let the kids know what is going on, and the unfortunate situation that has happened,” said Kenyon.

“But, I don’t think kids realize the full impact because they are 11 and 12-year-old kids. That’s the part we are trying to make sure of this unfortunate situation we are protecting all of the kids on the team and making sure they see the positives about this rather than having a negative shadow over our program because the program is an amazing opportunity.”

Kenyon notes they are still counting all the donations they received so no final total was announced.

“We think we have at least $25,000,” she said. “It has been absolutely amazing.”

The team said on Friday that they have notified the RCMP and the investigation is being taken over by the authorities.



jessica.dempsey@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WildSafeBC urges proper garbage storage to avoid more visits from bears

WildSafeBC is alerting the people of Kimberley that the city is currently… Continue reading

Kimberley and District Community Foundation receives $30,000 in emergency funding

Community groups affected by COVID-19 pandemic invited to apply

Evacuation order downgraded in Fairmont, alert remains in place

An evacuation order has been downgraded for properties along Fairmont Creek, but… Continue reading

City of Kimberley Boil Water Notice rescinded

Water Quality Advisory remains in effect

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Most Read