A town hall meeting called by the Green Bay Committee Thursday, Oct. 25, kicked off a campaign to sell Kootenay Ice season tickets for the Reach Out program. Jessica Dempsey/Townsman

Cranbrook Rotary Club gets on Green Bay bandwagon

Ed Murray

As a young boy in Winnipeg, it was natural to learn to skate and play hockey at a very early age, albeit on outdoor rinks. I remember putting our skates on at home and skating down the block on the frozen street to get to our outdoor rink in Transcona.

But it amazed me to find, at 10 years old, moving to Cranbrook, BC, aka Lotusland, that there was such a large minor hockey system. Cranbrook was and will always be a hockey town, defined decades ago by the Springs and the Murdochs, later the Cranbrook Royals, the Cranbrook Colts, Steve Yzerman, Tom Renney, Colin Patterson, the Neidermayers, many other players, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, far too numerous to mention, and then the Kootenay Ice, and Ed Chynoweth, the Memorial Cup, names like Jaffray, Stoll, Dawes, Blackburn, Polak, McGill, Reinhart, McNab…it goes on and on and on.

Before outdoor trails, our fabulous theatre and entertainment programs…hockey defined our city. We have been branded by our hockey. Our fans are passionate. Western Financial Place would not be here without hockey.

As a long time Rotarian (and obviously, hockey fan), having the opportunity for our club to work with the Kootenay Ice under Jeff Chynoweth during playoff seasons in the past became a great fund-raiser for our club, while also helping the team to raise money for its educational scholarships. It allowed our members to work hands-on and engage with the hockey fans of Cranbrook and share fellowship, a big part of who we are as Rotarians.

When the Ice new owners arrived, I spoke to Matt Cockell about retaining our playoff 50/50 relationship. Matt would not give us a commitment at that time, as he was new and exploring all options. At the end of the day he came back and asked our Rotary Club to take on the 50/50, not just for playoffs but for the entire season. Both parties decided to try it for a year.

We were not sure we had enough volunteers to carry the load for a full season, but as Rotarians we rose to the challenge. This past Summer we agreed to sign a three year commitment with the Ice to carry on with the 50/50 raffle. It’s been a big win-win. The Ice education fund profits, our club raises funds to be used to help our many Rotary projects, and the fans have a chance to win jackpots, which have increased since the arrival of a new system last year.

We as Rotarians continue to give back to our community. We have a vested interest in having the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook.

There are hockey fans that we can help by doing our part to allow them to see the best junior hockey in the world. We can do this now by helping to increase attendance and helping those less fortunate to get to those games.

Thursday at the regular meeting of our members, the Rotary Club of Cranbrook committed $10,000 towards Kootenay Ice tickets to assist the Green Bay Committee in their efforts to increase attendance at Kootenay Ice games, and to show that we, as Rotarians, and as citizens of our fabulous city, care about the WHL in Cranbrook. Rotary International’s theme for 2018-19 is “BE THE INSPIRATION. “This could not be any more fitting than at at time like this! It’s what we do as Rotarians…we lead, and we inspire !

Ed Murray is President (2018-19) of the Rotary Club of Cranbrook

Just Posted

Ktunaxa Nation holds first language summit since 2011

The language summit coincides with the youth’s, allowing for trans-generational transfer of knowledge

Ktunaxa Nation holds Ahead of the Game 2.0 youth summit

Youth summit coincides with language summit

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1912

March 17 - 23: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Quilters re-invent Peak Freak T-shirts

Submitted A collaboration with the Cranbrook Quilters Guild (CQG) has resulted in… Continue reading

Curator of Cranbrook’s historical heart

Honor Neve takes helm of Cranbrook History Centre’s collections

B.C. researcher says device mimics parent’s touch to help babies cope with pain

Calmer device is a rectangular platform that replaces a mattress inside an incubator

‘Earth, where does it hurt?’

Rev. Yme Woensdregt It has been a terrible time for the world… Continue reading

Hugs and Slugs

Hugs: To Sylvia and also to the nice man who waited for… Continue reading

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Most Read