HUGE NEWS from the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society today on 93.3 The Peak FM...the society has reached an purchase agreement in principle with the majority owners of the Bulldogs!
NOW - it comes time for the details. Formulating a business plan, getting BCHL Board of Governors approval, and raising more funds! If you still haven't made a donation, or if you have more to kick in now that this is reality, get to the PAJHS office or visit them online at www.pajhs.com
From the 93.3 The Peak FM Morning Show today, click to listen to the FULL INTERVIEW.
Audio Courtesy and Copyright 93.3 The Peak FM and the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
A very cool example of what the team means from Max Fenkell....
Dear Port Alberni,
My name is Max Fenkell and for the past year you knew me primarily as one of the goalies for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, or the only person in Port Alberni with a Pennsylvania license plate on my car. Since I left Port Alberni I have stayed in contact with many people who I consider to be my friends, and some who I consider to be family. My point in writing this letter is to give you a different perspective on why the Bulldogs are important. As the PAJHS works to secure the team’s future in Port Alberni I wanted to give you a player’s point of view and express to you what the community does for the team, not what we do for the community.
Let me start by saying that I grew up in a town that is pretty much the opposite of Port Alberni to a “T”. My town is a suburb of the city of Philadelphia, has zero community spirit, and in the house that I live in, I believe that I know approximately five of the people who live in my neighborhood. People do not really care about you when they ask you “how is your day going?”, nor would they ever pack almost 10% of the people who live in the town into a building once or twice a week in order to watch kids play a sport.
When I got to Port Alberni in August, I really did not know anyone, had no idea where anything was, and had a “I don’t think, I’m in Kansas anymore” moment as I came over the hump for the first time and drove through the streets of the town to my billets, Rick and Melinda Geddes, house. I was greeted at the door by the two most energetic dogs (if you know Harley or Xena you would understand) I had ever seen, and by the most welcoming family I had ever seen (again, if you know the Geddes you would understand). They made my transition to a new, city, country and home seamless. I guarantee my teammates felt the same way the first time they walked into their billet homes as well.
As the year went on, and I started to meet people in the town, I realized why Port Alberni is such a special place. Whether I walked into the grocery store, or went to a community event all of the people knew more about me than my position on the ice. They cared about how I liked the town, how my mom and dad back home (who most of them had never met) were doing, about my interests and most importantly what I thought of our game the night before or coming up. Before long I even felt like I knew every one in the town by their name, not just by their face. I truly felt a part of this town, and still do to this day.
My life changed in Port Alberni and not just as a hockey player. I was only in town a short nine months, but I know for a fact that my experience would have been far different in any other town. No town could care as much about 25 young players who come to the town every year. No town could make each and every player, coach, and staff member of the team feel like they won each and every night no matter the score of the game.
Now, that is just a brief summary of my story. I could have written ten times this amount about what this year did for me; but I know that every hockey player who has played in Port Alberni for the past ten years and every player who will play in Port Alberni in the future will have a similar story.
That is why it is so important to have the team in the town. That is why it is so important to continue the support that the town has given the team in the past ten years. I understand it is very important to the town financially, and socially to have a team. However, I also know that for the billets, volunteers and season ticket holders the team is far more important than entertainment or a business. It is something that each and every member of Port Alberni is a part of and it would be a shame for the people of the town to lose that.