CeeBees vol­un­teer gets award

Hockey New­found­land and Labrador hon­ours lo­cal play­ers, vol­un­teer

The Compass - - SPORTS - BYMIKA REKAI

When Wendy Pen­ney’s old­est son, Corey, started mi­nor hockey 14 years ago, she wanted noth­ing to do with it.

“I re­mem­ber say­ing that I wasn’t even go­ing to go to the arena,” she re­calls. “I was al­ready in­volved in cubs and scouts, so I told my hus­band (Craig) and my son that hockey would be their thing.” A lot can change in 14 years. Last week, Pen­ney was pre­sented with a mer­i­to­ri­ous award at Hockey New­found­land and Labrador’s (HNL) an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Gan­der, in recog­ni­tion of her many years of vol­un­teer work with CeeBees mi­nor hockey in Har­bour Grace.

She was one of only four vol­un­teers in the prov­ince to re­ceive the award.

Pen­ney lives in Car­bon­ear and is a busi­ness and ac­count­ing in­struc­tor at Keyin Col­lege. Her youngest son, 17-year-old Ja­son, has one more sea­son of mi­nor hockey.

Pen­ney has sat on the CeeBees ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee since 2000. In a typ­i­cal week, she spends over 20 hours vol­un­teer­ing with the as­so­ci­a­tion.

“I got sucked in,” she ad­mits with a smile.

Un­of­fi­cial spokesper­son

Pen­ney is the as­so­ci­a­tion’s sec­re­tary, but has also served as its in­terim trea­surer and its un­of­fi­cial spokesper­son. She de­scribes her­self as the “go-to per­son” for CeeBees par­ents, coaches and oth­ers.

“Even though I’m not the most ex­pe­ri­enced, ev­ery­one asks me ques­tions be­cause the sec­re­tary is the in­for­ma­tion per­son,” she says.

She is also the un­of­fi­cial li­ai­son be­tween the CeeBees and HNL, and has a vast net­work of friends and con­tacts in hockey cir­cles through­out the prov­ince.

“I can walk into any arena in New­found­land and find some­one I know,” she says. “I’ve met the great­est peo­ple through hockey.”

Spirit of hockey

Pen­ney says her trans­for­ma­tion from ap­a­thetic par­ent to ded­i­cated vol­un­teer was a quick one. Af­ter see­ing her son play just a few games, she be­came his “ big­gest cheer­leader,” and her en­thu­si­asm and charisma trans­ferred eas­ily from the arena to the ex­ec­u­tive ta­ble.

“I get a lot of en­joy­ment out of it, and I get to be part of an or­ga­ni­za­tion that is needy,” she says.

She has also en­joyed track­ing the CeeBees ac­com­plish­ments. In the last few years, reg­is­tra­tion has steadily in­creased and the as­so­ci­a­tion has be­come more in­volved with the com­mu­nity. Last year, the team took part in a bike ride to ben­e­fit the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion, and had a float in the Santa Clause pa­rade.

“ That’s the spirit of hockey,” she says. “Be­ing part of a com­mu­nity and do­ing what you can.”

While Pen­ney says it’s an hon­our to win the mer­i­to­ri­ous award, she added that ev­ery­one on the CeeBees ex­ec­u­tive was de­serv­ing.

Lo­cal play­ers rec­og­nized

Pen­ney was not the only big win­ner from the Trin­inty-Con­cep­tion re­gion. Three hockey play­ers were awarded schol­ar­ships and bur­saries at the same event. They in­clude:

• Corey Drake, was the re­cip­i­ent of the Co-op­er­a­tors Ju­nior Hockey Schol­ar­ship, val­ued at $1,000. Drake is from Long Cove, and has played hockey in the area since he was five. He played for many years with Trin­ity-Pla­cen­tia mi­nor hockey, and is now a mem­ber of the Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia Fly­ers of the St. John’s Ju­nior Hockey League.

• Aprill Drake, who is also from Long Cove and is Corey’s first cousin, played mi­nor hockey with Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia from 2005-10, and has stayed on as a trainer with the as­so­ci­a­tion’s un­der-20 team.

She cur­rently plays with an adult league in St. John’s, where she is at­tend­ing Me­mo­rial Univer­sity. This past March, she trav­elled to P.E.I. with the New­found­land and Labrador fe­male se­nior team to com­pete in an At­lantic tour­na­ment. She was awarded the B.F. Loren­zetti & As­so­ciates $1,000 bur­sary.

• Matthew Parsons of Clarke’s Beach also took home a mi­nor hockey schol­ar­ship worth $ 500. This schol­ar­ship is awarded to a post-sec­ondary stu­dent who has to travel of­ten for hockey. Parsons, who has been play­ing since he was four years old, has pre­vi­ously played house league hockey with the Bay Arena Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion.

All schol­ar­ships are awarded to ex­cep­tional hockey play­ers who also main­tain high aca­demic av­er­ages.

Photo by Mika Rekai/Spe­cial to The Com­pass

CeeBees mi­nor hockey vol­un­teer Wendy Pen­ney of Car­bon­ear has re­ceived amer­i­to­ri­ous award from Hockey New­found­land and Labrador.

April Drake of Long Cove was awarded the B.F. Loren­zetti & As­so­ciates $1,000 bur­sary by Hockey New­found­land and Labrador.

Corey Drake of Long Cove is the re­cip­i­ent of the Co-Op­er­a­tors schol­ar­ship, val­ued at $1,000.

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