There's a hockey fan in Kimberley with a huge heart, and wallet.
Prior to Friday's Kootenay International Junior Hockey League contest between the hometown Dynamiters and visiting Grand Forks Border Bruins, Mike Gould made an annnouncement many are stilling thinking can't be true.
The ‘average-joe’ Gould announced his commitment to donate $7.5 Million to hockey in Kimberley including the Kimberley Dynamiters.
With emotion, Gould waved to the 700 in attendance as they stood and applauded his unexpected, yet amazing donation to the community.
“It’s a gift,” Gould told the Nitros Night in Kimberley website.
"A gift to the community. . .. A way for me to give back to the community, and team, that I loved growing up.”
Gould told the website that while he did not wear a Dynamiters jersey, that he played minor hockey in Kimberley, and that it helped shape him into the person he has become. He also added that hockey-blood runs in his family.
On the receiving end of the donation, Dynamiters president James Leroux, said that the gift is overwhelming, but exciting.
Leroux said that the donation is not just for the Dynamiters and that it is for all of hockey in Kimberley, but that at this point the Dynamiters will be managing the gift.
Gould is aware of the rising expenses towards families to be able to play hockey, and he wants to see hockey in Kimberley become more affordable and accessible, so that other children can get the same experience he did.
Leroux can see the immediate benefit of supporting local hockey, he hopes to see minor hockey registration double, which will then double the amount of local talent on the Dynamiters roster.
The Dynamiters are also in need of a bus, and Gould wants to see the team buy a bus. But that the bus also be available, when not is use by the Nitro’s, to minor hockey. Gould and Leroux both said they could just see the joy that the minor hockey players will have riding on the Kimberley Dynamiters bus.
Leroux added that despite the awe-inspiring donation, it is business as usual for the Nitro’s. They want to see the funds be sustained for several decades, noting that the operating costs for the Dynamiters is close to $500,000 a year and that if the board took their foot off the gas, the funds would quickly be gone.
As for Gould, he is thrilled to be able to share his good-fortune with the community, and felt that this was the right way to show the start of his commitment to supporting Kimberley.
The Dynamiters did not disappoint the fans on this eventful night, hammering Grand Forks 7-2.