HARBOUR GRACE, NL — The CeeBees are spreading as much holiday cheer as they can this season.
The Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars have had a bumpy year throughout 2017. From being named the 2017 Herder champions to being ousted from the Avalon East Senior Hockey League, it’s been a rollercoaster of experiences for the team. However, their holiday cheer has yet to falter.
Recently, the CeeBees have been carrying out what they refer to as their season of giving, where the team has made donations to several organizations in the Harbour Grace region. With their lengthy list completed, the donations total over $60,000.
Stars president Mark Reynolds spoke with The Compass about the donations, explaining that it was the team’s way of giving back to a community that has shown them undying love and appreciation over the years.
“We’ve had a few rough patches this year, and as many people know, we aren’t playing this season. The response from the community on that, and all the support the people have shown us is just incredible, and we felt that we should give back, and show just how much we appreciate that support,” said Reynolds. “This is our community, we’re the community’s team, so this is just a great opportunity to give back to them, who have already given us so much. That’s what we wanted to do.”
Following the announcement that the Stars would no longer be a part of the AESHL during the 2017-18 season, residents of Harbour Grace and surrounding communities have not been shy when it comes to supporting their home team. Earlier in the year, a Chase the Ace event was held in support of the CeeBees. Reynolds said the success of that event was a key factor behind their decision to give back.
Local food banks in the region each which each received $500, $20,000 went to the Trinity-Conception Placentia Health Foundation, and $2,500 was donated to the CBN Figure Skating Club. The list of donations goes on, resulting in the team giving nearly $70,000 back to the community.
“We’ve been doing (the donations) one at a time, whenever we get the chance to meet with the groups, shake their hands, take a little picture,” said Reynolds. “We’re very humbled and proud to be able to do this, to give back to the community. Nobody asked us to do it, we just felt it was the right thing to do – we certainly didn’t need all the money to operate.”
While Reynolds and the rest of the CeeBee Stars are hopeful to get back in action in the 2018-19 season, Reynolds added that if that were not the case, they’d likely do a second round of giving.
“We’ve been denied a hockey season this year, and really, we’re just trying to turn something negative into something positive, so we called it the season of giving,” Reynolds said.