Bulldogs give the community hope

There is a very real danger that the Alberni Valley may lose the Bulldogs junior hockey franchise, one reader said.

To the Editor,

Many are likely aware that a group of us have formed the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society with the goal to purchase the Alberni Valley Bulldogs as a non-profit community owned team. We realize that we have had to come out very quickly with a campaign that had many challenges and variables that have not been of our making.

I wanted you to know why I agreed to be a part of this effort during this initial phase and why I hope people will consider pledging some financial support.

My motives are complex yet simple: there is a very real danger that the Alberni Valley may lose this franchise.

We have tried not to use this fear factor as a main motivator for people and we have tried to stay positive but the bottom line is people should not be complacent and think that this team will be staying no matter what. If we lose this franchise I would doubt we would ever get another back.

I am not naïve to think a junior hockey team can change the fortunes of a community. I am, however, keenly aware that our community needs positive opportunities and activities that contribute to its healthy social fabric.

We need opportunities to come together, to take pride in our community, to celebrate, to network and to feel good about where we live.

We cannot afford to lose another positive entity that contributes in this way.

When I was involved in the efforts to build the Alberni Valley Multiplex I was accused of being a dreamer, out of touch with the needs and economic realities of the Alberni Valley and I have heard these same criticisms again.

I respect people’s opinions and their right to how they feel. I do, however, ask that we all look at the bigger picture of what it takes to make a strong and vibrant community.

It is a delicate system of social and economic pieces that we must be very careful to preserve or our community will suffer.

Tom McEvay,

Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society