Diego Hopkins digs into the puck at the memorial game. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Teammates honour fallen hockey player from Alberni

The community of Port Alberni is giving back in the memory of a young local hockey player.

Krista Plaunt was an avid and talented hockey player in her life. She started off with the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association in her childhood, playing on the U16 and U18 rep teams. She continued playing recreationally in the Port Alberni Ladies Non Contact Hockey League as an adult.

“It was a passion for her,” said her mother, Barb Anderson.

Anderson raised Krista as a single mother and worked an extra job so she could support Krista’s hockey. In Krista’s Grade 12 year, Anderson was involved in an accident that left her unable to work. Anderson applied to KidSport and the organization was able to help finance Krista’s love for hockey.

”KidSport helped me when I needed them most,” said Anderson.

But Krista took her own life in October 2017, shortly after her 23rd birthday.

On the outside, Krista appeared to be content. She was working hard as a full-time college student and playing hockey in her free time. But her mother knew she was struggling.

“She was battling in the last month,” said Anderson. “She just didn’t know what else to do.”

Anderson had asked for donations to KidSport in lieu of flowers, so a number of Krista’s friends and teammates—her “hockey family,” as Anderson refers to them—decided to raise some money in Krista’s name. In her memory, the Krista Plaunt Memorial Games was organized.

The event was organized largely by two of Krista’s childhood friends, Nicolette Savard and Kelsy Turner.

“They threw this all together in a couple of months,” said Anderson. “They put it together during Christmas, while they were working full-time and dealing with their own grief. It was amazing.”

Former teammates and friends came from as far as the North Island, Salmon Arm and Powell River to be a part of the fundraising event on Saturday, Jan. 27. Four teams competed in the games, and the whole event saw around 150 people come through the doors. Local businesses donated items to be raffled, and some of the participants kicked in extra money.

“The turnout was fabulous and the support was amazing,” said Anderson.

The raffle raised more than $3,000 for KidSport—a donation that will assist at least 10 more youth in playing the sport of their choice.

Anderson and other participants are hoping that the event will become an annual tradition, and that it can grow to become a tournament.

“We want to do this so that more kids can get out there and do what she did,” said Anderson. “If they find a passion they should be able to stick to it.”

Anderson said she wanted the memorial event to raise awareness around mental health struggles, as well.

“I’m just so grateful for my whole community,” said Anderson. “[Krista] touched a lot of these people in her own life. The support has been just overwhelming.”

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

— With files from Sonja Drinkwater

 

The puck is dropped at the memorial game. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Just Posted

Bullhead derby returns to Port Alberni with new date, location

Lions Club partners with Maritime Discovery Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Port Alberni RCMP honour fallen officers from New Brunswick

Moment of silence, prayers held for Fredericton officers killed last week

Trio of Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock events planned for Port Alberni

Cancer Society volunteers work behind the scenes to fundraise for tour

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at mill on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday at Harmac Pacific

Most Read