CeeBees volunteer gets award
Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador honours local players, volunteer
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.
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.
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.