February 20, 2019
A huge success.
That’s what organizers are calling the first ever Burnaby Winter Club Casino Royale Gala, which was hosted Friday, February 8, at the Gateway Casino.
Organizing committee chair Rebecca Ashton reports that over $140,000 was raised for future capital projects at the Club, which exceeded the committee’s goals and expectations.
The evening included the presentation of two special awards. James Rae received the Builders Award for Volunteerism and Bill Hunt the Builders Award for Coaching.
Former General Manager Len McNeely presented the award to James Rae, who has been the club’s Safety and Risk Manager for over ten years.
Current Bantam Prep Academy team assistant coach Jordie Aaron-Jones presented the award to Bill Hunt (pictured above), who has coached the BWC’s acclaimed Peewee A1 program many times over his period of 27 years at the club.
Ashton says a portion of the funds will be used to address some immediate plans for capital improvements, and some will be set aside to fund plans for future improvements.
She says the gala committee will continue to work together towards new goals.
“We plan to do another Gala but we’re not sure when, perhaps we’ll do one every two years, rather than annually, and plan for something less formal in between galas.”
The evening included a video that included interviews with coaches, former players, current players, and parents, that outlined how members feel about their BWC experience. Click here to open the video.
The Burnaby Winter Cub operates as a not for profit society, and was first established in 1956 as a curling club, but soon changed to include figure skating and hockey. More recently it has involved into a pure hockey organization.
NHL alumni that played minor hockey at BWC include Jack McIlhargey, Cliff Ronning, Paul Kariya, Chris Joseph, Mike Santorelli and Glenn Anderson. Many others played at the professional ranks, both in North America, in Europe, and in Russia. More recent BWC alumni include NHLers Greg Zanon, Michael Santorelli, Karl Alzner, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and 2018 NHL Rookie of the Year Mat Barzal.