Monday, March 12, 2007
RBC, with support from Hockey Canada and the Hockey Hall of Fame, recognize Canada's most dedicated behind-the-scenes hockey volunteers as part of the fourth annual RBC Local Hockey Leaders program. BC Hockey would like to congratulate Gary Edwards from Cecil Lake, BC for being selected as the BC Hockey Branch recipient.
Each winner will receive $10,000 to put towards grassroots hockey in their community and a signed Team Canada jersey. A banner recognizing the achievement will also be raised in the winner's local arena. In addition, the thirteen RBC Local Hockey Leaders - one from each regional Hockey Canada branch - will be recognized in a special permanent display at the Hockey Hall of Fame, which will be unveiled in April at a special ceremony honoring the 2006-2007 RBC Local Hockey Leaders.
"Canadians have a tremendous passion for hockey, and this passion was reflected in the more than 1,000 submissions we received for this year's RBC Local Hockey Leaders program," said Neil Skelding, President and CEO, RBC Insurance. "RBC is very proud to help the most deserving of these hockey volunteers take their rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame."
Gary Edwards knows the importance of minor hockey and the local arena to life in the community. Edwards, who like his father before him lives on the farm next to Cecil Lake's Clearview Pacific Arena, donates hundreds of hours to hockey in the community and caring for the arena that is central to its existence. "This is a farming community, and the arena is a big part of it," said Cecil Lake's Rosemary Baldry, in her nomination essay. "We had a lot of trouble with our ice plant this year and Gary would come at 5 am before feeding cows or going to his welding job and help us fix things up, then he would stop on his way home again and make sure we were still running."
As outlined by Baldry, Edwards also coaches an Atom level team, organizes tournaments, and handles many of the demands that arise with small town arenas. "Gary has helped to fix the Zamboni, re-weld the goalie nets, fixed gates, and basically all of the other jobs that seem to pop up," added Baldry. "We have a dugout for our arena ice and being that last summer was a drought our dugout was low, least of all we were all worried if we would have enough water for the season. It would have been a huge expense for our arena to buy water, so Gary volunteered to pump water from the largest dugout on his own farm (intended for his cattle) to the arena dugout. It was a huge job that took from 8 in the morning until 7 at night. We are all very thankful as we are a small community and on a limited budget."
List of Other Winners:
Dale Smith, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Regional Winner: Hockey North
Brian Ennis, Red Deer, Alberta
Regional Winner: Hockey Alberta
Johnny Ford, Gray, Saskatchewan
Regional Winner: Saskatchewan Minor Hockey Association
Henry Kazina, Tyndall, Manitoba
Regional Winner: Hockey Manitoba
Murray Howard, London, Ontario
Regional Winner: Ontario Hockey Federation
Dan Reynard, Kenora, Ontario
Regional Winner: Hockey North Western Ontario
Cheryl and Raymond Graham, Ottawa, Ontario
Regional Winner: Ottawa District Hockey Association
Robert Nutbrown, Ascot Corner, Quebec
Regional Winner: Hockey Quebec
Garry Brooks, Fredericton Junction, New Brunswick
Regional Winner: Hockey New Brunswick
John Murphy, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Regional Winner: Hockey Nova Scotia
Terri MacDonald, Central Bedeque, Prince Edward Island
Regional Winner: PEI Hockey Association
Joseph Lane, Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland
Regional Winner: Newfoundland and Labrador
For more information about BC Hockey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.