Kootenay hockey team missing $30,000, blames ‘trusted volunteer’

Cranbrook hockey team is travelling to Japan in 12 days for international hockey tournament

After an internal financial audit, the Cranbrook 2019 Friendship Kootenay Ice hockey team alleges that more than $30,000 has been misappropriated by “a trusted volunteer,” according to a team press release.

The hockey team, which has been planning a trip to Japan to participate in a tournament in two weeks, announced the missing funds on Friday, April 12, after publishing and distributing a media release.

The RCMP has been notified, according to the statement.

Crystal Kenyon, the travel chair of the team, says everyone is devastated when she spoke to the Cranbrook Townsman during an interview on Friday afternoon.

“It’s devastating and so disappointing,” she said.

Kenyon says players and families have worked for more than 18 months to collect money for the journey through fundraisers such as silent auctions and bottle drives.

There are 17 kids, between 11-12 years old, who are set to go on the trip.

“It’s 17 kids that have been working their butts off to get all of this fundraising done,” said Kenyon. “We have done at minimum 18 different fundraisers trying to do this … we have done so many different fundraisers over the past 18 months, and these kids have worked so incredibly hard to get there.”

The team is currently evaluating its finances and exploring opportunities to make up for the missing funds to ensure the trip can still go ahead.

“We are kind of scrambling and trying to find where we can come up with the money so we can finish paying for the trip for the kids, because we leave on April 23,” said Kenyon.

The team has been fundraising to go to the Peewee International Friendship Hockey Tournament, which is hosted in Japan.

“The values of this tournament are about friendship and fair play. This wasn’t a tryout, it was a lottery to find out who got to play on this team. It’s very difficult because we have kids on the team from all walks of life, and not everyone can afford to come up with this extra money right out of their pockets to continue to send their kids.”

She says the kids have been extremely excited about the opportunity given to them.

“This is going to be a trip of a lifetime for these kids,” said Kenyon. “The tournament is like a mini-Olympics. There are teams from Australia, New Zealand, Korea — there are teams from all over the world going to be there.”

Kenyon notes there is only one other Canadian team that was invited to the tournament.

“These boys are half of what is representing Canada. They get to stay with billet parents and they get to be emersed in all of the culture,” she said.

The club plans to do more fundraising this weekend, including at the Kin Club of Cranbrook Outdoor and Recreation Show where they are doing a 50/50 draw and will have silent auction items.

If people would like to help, donations can be made to the team to help them go on their once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan. For more information, Kenyon says people can contact them through email.

“Any help the community would like to give us would be really appreciated — more than anybody could possibly know,” said Kenyon.

“Thank you to everybody that has helped so far and come to the table. We have had some people already that have heard about what is going on, and have offered help and have offered to support us with extras even though they already helped us. It’s a really sad, devastating situation that we are in at the moment and the people in our community are absolutely amazing on how they come together to support kids to play sports in this town.”



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

Heating up the kitchen

G.P. Vanier hosting North Island Skills Canada Regional Event

Carlos del Junco and the Blues Mongrels return to Courtenay

Eight-time Maple Blues winner Carlos del Junco and his Blues Mongrels return… Continue reading

Orcas spotted hunting north of Comox

Did you see the orcas in the area on Feb. 20? Ella… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Iconic aircraft at 19 Wing Comox entrance undergoes facelift

PHOTOS: Iconic aircraft at 19 Wing Comox entrance undergoes facelift

Wounded Warrior makes a few Comox Valley stops on Feb. 26

Organizers release schedule for stops on this year’s relay run on the Island

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for week of Feb. 18

More beefs to the tip-expecting server; a bouquet to BC Transit

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

Most Read