Aside from their recent hot streak, the Columbia Valley Rockies are finding success down many other avenues.
After continuing successful fundraising opportunities and taking on new ones, the team’s finances are healthier than they’ve been in years.
Now the Rockies are looking to upgrade their team bus, in which they spend a considerable amount of time travelling. The team’s woodcutting service, which has garnered more success than ever before, is helping make it happen. So will the BC Pond Hockey Tournament on Lake Windermere at the end of January, which is now a Rockies fundraiser event.
“We really upped the ante. I attribute our fundraising success to our strong volunteer base that takes care of the wood pile,” said Rockies president Al Miller. “Our volunteers have performed well processing and delivering it.”
Woodcutting has earned the team more than $50,000 so far this year. For a new bus, the team’s fundraising goal is in the $100,000 to $150,000 range. Along with other fundraisers and substantial support from the Windermere and District Lions Club, Miller said the club hopes to have the “new” used bus by September.
The BC Pond Hockey tournament was started in 2012 by a man from Rossland, who has handed over the event to the Rockies to use as a fundraiser for their club. Miller said the team plans to continue running it every year.
“We’ll be taking on the pond hockey tournament wholeheartedly,” he said.
And each summer, the hockey team sells tickets for its classic car raffle, in which the winner drives off in an impressive-looking classic sports car.
“We’re still working on details, but I can assure you (this year) it’s going to be a good one,” Miller said.
And Rockies players have received some high profile attention.
Forward Doan Smith, who was traded to Fernie after playing 26 games with the Rockies this season, is leading the league in points with 56.
“I’m happy to see Doan do well with Fernie,” said Miller. “That’s the direction he wanted to go, and we’re not about holding people back.”
Rockies forwards Ryan St. Jean and Braydon Barker were both called up to the Langley Riverman — a team in the British Columbia Hockey League.
“They’re strong players,” said Miller. “They both add a lot to the game, and I think that they’ve got a good future.”
To order firewood from the Rockies, call Home Hardware at 250-342-6908. To register for the 4th annual BC Pond Hockey Championship on Lake Windermere, visit http://goo.gl/3HGfe8. And keep an eye out for the Rockies’ booth at the Invermere Farmers’ Market this summer to buy a ticket for the classic car raffle.