Revelstoke provides the Grizzlies with the cash they need for the provincial championships

By David F. Rooney

The Revelstoke Grizzlies fan base came out in droves on Tuesday to ensure that the team had all the money it would need to get down to Vancouver Island for this weekend’s BC Provincial Junior B Championships.

Co-owner Mike Roberts said Monday he found out at 3 am on Sunday that the team was going to have to pay a big chunk of their expenses for the tournament.

“Man, I thought it was going to be free,” he said Monday.

The team simply didn’t have enough cash to lay out for the five-day trip to the island and cover its other commitments.

News of the team’s predicament spread rapidly. Spurred on by statement from the team’s Cheryl Fry and Head Coach Troy Mick, stories on The Current and EZ Rock swiftly alerted local fans to the problem. They responded with the kind of generosity you’d expect from Revelstokians.

People bought autographed hockey sticks, brought hundreds — maybe even thousands — of bottles for a bottle drive, paid cash for the privilege of skating with their favourite Grizzlies and to have their pictures taken with them. And they donated money. Man! Did they donate!

The team, which feared it couldn’t afford the $8,000 it was going to cost to send the team and its coaches to Parksville, was inundated with money. Boys, girls, parents, grandparents and businesses gave generously on Tuesday. Cheques came in every amount from $40 or so to $400 and even a $5,000 cheque to the Grizzlies from Lew Hendrickson’s Nichol Road Holdings. That monster cheque earned Lew one year of free leaderboard advertising on The Current’s Sports Section. That advertising product has a retail value of $4,800.

Here are a few images from the event:

Young Jake Coueffin poses with the two hockeysticks he purchased for himself and his cousin Domenic Donato. That wouldn't necessarily warrant a photo in The Current, but these were SPECIAL sticks: autographed by every member of the KIJHL Championship-winning Grizzlies. Jake got the sticks for $100 to help his favourite team get to Parksville for the BC Provincial Junior B Championships. David F. Rooney photo
Cheryl Fry was fully engaged with the crowd that came to the Forum to help the Grizzlies raise enough money to finance their trip to the BC Provincial Junior B Championships. David F. Rooney photo
Hmmm! What are they thinking? Curt Pont doesn't seem too sure about what his wife Andrea is thinking. She, meanwhile, seems to have a few doubts about the photographer. Long-time Grizzlies fans, the Ponts were just two of the hundreds of people young and old who came to the Forum on Tuesday to help the Grizzlies. They purchased memorabilia, paid to have their photos taken with team members and to skate with the KIJHL champions. David F. Rooney photo
Whoops! A player goes splat on the ice during Tuesday's Skate with the Grizzlies fundraiser to help send the team to Vancouver Island. David F. Rooney photo
A lot of local businesses anted up money to support the Grizzlies. Here are two — Dinah Collette of Spice o' Life posing with Head Coach Troy Mick and Lawrence Rebalkin of Work 'n' Play with Cheryl Fry. The donation jar at the front table at the Forum was jammed with cash, coins and cheques within 30 minutes. David F. Rooney photo
Grizzlies supporters Dennis Berarducci (left), Lew Hendrickson (center) and Steve Smith chat amongst themselves at Tuesday's fundraiser for the Grizzlies. Hendrickson kicked in $5,000 to help the team. That generous contribution won him a year's worth of free online advertising on The Revelstoke Current worth $4,800. David F. Rooney photo