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

Just Posted

Memorial started at scene of fatal vehicle incident near Williams Lake on Highway 20

Bouquets of flowers have been laid at the scene, roughly 17 kilometres from Williams Lake

Kangaroos spoil Stamps home opener Saturday in lakecity

Quesnel scored with 15 seconds left to win 6-5

Showers, cool weather forecast for Cariboo over coming days

Heading into the work week Cariboo residents can expect cool, damp weather

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Most Read