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

Mounties identify woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“Our investigators do not believe criminality was involved.”

Pacific Poke bowl lovers can get a free taste at the restaurant’s ‘Grand Opening Event’

The restaurant will offer some of its specials Thursday evening at its Kelowna location

Youth Shelter Fundraiser encourages kids to play for a good cause

The fundraiser takes place April 27 at the EnergyPlex

Tribute to Kelowna’s Chinese Canadian pioneers planned

A tribute to Kelowna’s historic Chinese Canadian community got underway this weekend.

Update: RCMP confirm body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

South Okanagan community bands together on social media after shootings

Many in Penticton have turned to social media to express their condolences

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Okanagan resort seeking connnection to rail trail

Predator Ridge Resort slated to present wish for trail from resort to ORT to Vernon council

South Okanagan society looking to bring new racing event to their park

The Desert Park Exhibition Society board is looking into hosting another major event

Okanagan power outage scuttles – but not ruins – city’s mission’s Easter meals

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission will serve Easter dinner a day later due to downtown power outage

Waterway Houseboats wins $2 million for damages caused in 2012 flood

Houseboat company wins lawsuit involving Province of British Columbia, District of Sicamous

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Netflix filming in North Okanagan

Multiple downtown locations and scenic areas to star in TV production

Most Read