Bruins have impact in community

I had the opportunity to read the article on The Progress website where [Moray] Keith states he’s willing to buy the team and keep it here in Chilliwack (Keith willing to pay to keep Bruins in Chilliwack). While personally and selfishly I want the team to stay here I’m not writing to tell you my thoughts on this ordeal, but to let you know that I take offence to the following quote from Mr. Keith:

“It’s no secret that we’re not terribly happy at all with where Chilliwack has gone, what has happened with the team and the way it’s gone in the community…”

As chair of Chilliwack Football Club, our association and its teams – my own personal teams included – have benefited financially from having the Bruins here by allowing us to do the 50/50 at the games.  Without those 50/50s many kids would not have been able to go on trips to Europe and the US for soccer academy exchanges and to attend pro team youth camps. The proceeds of the 50/50 have also fully funded teams and their travel to tournaments. For Chilliwack FC, the 50/50s and ticket fundraisers have also made things easier on us as an association as well as they have helped us offset the costs of sponsoring children who cannot afford to play as well.

As a cancer survivor (and I do hate that word and can’t believe I just used it to describe myself) I know I have benefited indirectly from the Pink In The Rink Nights as the monies raised have gone towards finding not only a cure for cancer but also to find ways of to help treat it.  I have been fortunate enough to benefit from the latest treatment procedures. Procedures that may not have been available to people like myself if it wasn’t for the Canadian Cancer Society and BC Cancer Foundation and their fundraising efforts.

The list of community involvement with both players and staff is quite extensive as well. The Bruins Pediatric Centre at CGH, Books with the Bruins twice a week, post game skates on Sundays, player appearances at local stores, speaking engagements at service clubs and schools, helping out at Community Services and at the Salvation Army, are just some examples of our open involvement in the Community.  We also can’t forget about the hospital visits to our fans and appearances at birthday parties. Minor hockey even changed their name from Coyotes to Bruins!

My point is we are in the community and we are in the community in a very positive way.  Even now, there are very few places I can go where I don’t have to talk hockey with someone.  I hear it all the time how great it is that the team is visible out in the community. If we had a negative impact on the community as Mr. Keith seems to be implying we would not have a mountain of requests from charities asking for our support nor would we have been able to participate in any of the interactions I mentioned above.

At any rate these are just my thoughts and you can take them for what they are worth, I know the team isn’t perfect. As someone who was with the team before there was even a team formed I am offended at the implication that the work myself and my coworkers have done in the community has been negatively received. Whatever happens with the team will happen but I want you to know that the team has done a lot of good in the community and has indirectly touched many of Chilliwack’s residents despite what Mr. Keith seems to think.

Andrea Laycock

Former Office Manager – Chilliwack Bruins

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