Hello Colts Families,
At the start of last season, we announced a number of initiatives with the goal to create an enduring legacy of the memory and spirit of our friend and Coach Paul Bennett.
We are very pleased to announce the results of our first year of combined efforts, as well as the plans to continue this work throughout the coming season.
1. We started the season with a distribution of PB helmet stickers, which were worn by the vast majority of our players, as well as Paul’s adult hockey teams, and several other teams and associations.
2. We accepted donations throughout the season towards the Paul Bennett Love of Hockey Bursary, and the combination of all of those donations totalled over $2800.
3. We also held the first annual Paul Bennett BLAST! Tournament – a celebration of all things hockey – for our Atom players. This was a big success in its first incarnation, and we will be expanding this event further this season, as the waitlist was significant.
We also continued our efforts with the First Shift program – which was a passion of Paul’s – and we introduced another 46 kids to the sport we all love. After that program, we monitored for those players registering for this upcoming season, and we were very pleased to award the first inaugural Paul Bennett Love of Hockey Bursaries to two graduates of that program – Alexander Washi and Reid Phillips!!
Throughout the season we were also thrilled to see support from many of our members for Paul’s family, especially his son Adam in his first season of hockey after his father passed. Even our local team the Vancouver Canucks pitched in to host the Bennett family for a game vs the Ottawa Senators – both Adam and Paul’s favourite hockey team. We are very grateful for all these efforts to make this season as smooth and enjoyable for Adam, his mom Darlene, and his brother Owen.
At the same time, we watched Adam exhibit heart and determination throughout this past season. From tryouts through the final games of the year, we saw him work to make his Dad proud in his first ever season without Paul as his Coach. As a result, Adam was voted by the membership to be our ‘Most Inspiring Player’ for the 2018-2019 season.
Over the summer, we were pleased to sponsor a hole and participate in the 1st Paul Bennett Memorial golf tournament. That event raised an additional $4,000 for our bursary fund, in addition to funds for Peace Arch Hospital and the RCMP Victims fund.
As we move into another season, all of these initiatives will continue, and we are excited to have even more support from the Canucks this year to further our goals, as they are now a title sponsor of our Vancouver Canucks First Shift program for this season!
We are also excited to continue to see more and more kids come into the game – including many new Canadians – and we hope to continue to grow our Association and spread the love of hockey in Paul’s name. We have already had to add teams to many divisions this season, and registration is ongoing for kids aged 5 to 12!!