Fin exemplifies fun at Hockey Day
With respect to Roberto Luongo, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler and the Sedins, there may not be a more popular Vancouver Canucks figure than the NHL team’s mascot Fin.
Without saying a word, the lanky Orca whale was overwhelmed by photo and autograph requests at the first annual Hockey Day at Richmond Minor Saturday at the Richmond Ice Centre. Fin took it all in stride, never once refusing a request.
“It was awesome to have Fin at our event,” said Richmond Minor public relations director Kirk Darbyshire. “For a lot of the kids, I really think he was the highlight of the day. It was pretty cool seeing the kids light up when he arrived.”
Fin’s presence may have even helped to surpass Richmond Minor Hockey’s fundraising goal of $2,500 for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The majority of funds were generated through donations and raffle ticket sales.
“The amount of corporate support Richmond Minor has is fantastic and illustrates the association’s efforts to connect with the community,” said Darbyshire. “We really appreciate all the community support we get, and we don’t lose cite as a non-profit organization to also give back to worthwhile causes such as Canuck Place. Hockey is an expensive sport to play and we’re proud to have recently supported Richmond KidSport through our first annual golf tournament.”
Establishing and maintaining strong community ties are important to Richmond Minor Hockey, said association president Gary Lok.
Since assuming his role on the 21-member board 18 months ago, Lok and his fellow directors have made it a priority to develop new partnerships and rekindle relationships with the likes of the Richmond Sockeyes, the local junior hockey club whose players were front and centre as volunteers at Saturday’s events.
“We’ve done a lot to foster our relationships in the community,” said Lok. “It’s part of the evolution of hockey. Kids in the community learn to skate and play hockey and develop their skills, and then some want to play at a higher level. We’re fortunate to have a local junior team that can give them that opportunity.”
Support from the community has also allowed Richmond Minor Hockey to establish a scholarship program for graduating Midget Division players. Last season the association distributed nearly $14,000 to help players with post-secondary education costs.
Besides a three-on-three street hockey tournament, shooting drills, obstacle courses and a coaches versus Midget A exhibition game, one of the goals of Hockey Day at Richmond Minor was to give all members—as well as the public—a chance to simply share in the fun of hockey.
“Hockey’s gotten very competitive and it was nice to create a day where members could unwind, show their spirit and maybe take their mind of the competition for a day,” said Lok.