By Max Lewis
Photos courtesy of the City of Vaughan Hockey Association
The City of Vaughan Hockey Association is a pillar of development in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, and last Thursday the spotlight was on all the people who have helped it become the strong community it is today.
The organization held its annual appreciation night at the Venetian Banquet and Hospitality Centre to recognize and honour the volunteers, coaches and managers within the house league, select and rep ranks.
What made this year’s evening extra special is that in coincided with the 25th anniversary celebration of the CVHA. This milestone made the night that much more special, a feeling evident among those along those involved, including representatives from the GTHL, North York Hockey League, Vaughan Kings and Vaughan Panthers.
“This is truly what building a better world is about,” said Vaughan mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, who was among the many special guests in attendance.
CVHA president Barry Harte was again presented with the George Chamandy Memorial Trophy as GTHL volunteer of the year, a distinction first bestowed on him at the GTHL Awards Celebration last June.
Hockey Hall of Fame Member Darryl Sittler served as the guest speaker, sharing funny stories from his playing days and nuggets of wisdom on what he looks for in a coach.
“It’s an honour. As a player, captain and father, with children and grandchildren in the game, I understand the importance of minor hockey,” said Sittler on being asked to return as guest speaker for a second straight year.
The event showed not only how far-reaching the CVHA has been in the community during its quarter-century of existence, but also how vital the work of all the volunteers is to make sure it stays that way for many years to come.
BONUS COVERAGE: Check out the next edition of Breakout magazine for an in depth look at some of the CVHA’s longest-serving members.
Visit Facebook.com/GTHLHockey for more photos.
Rocco Alonzi (left), vice president of the CVHA Rep Vaughan Rangers, and Barry Harte (right) present the 2015 CVHA Presidents Award to Vaughan Rangers Minor Peewee Select coach Michael Bowe. From Mr. Harte:
“Michael was presented this award for his inspirational and leadership qualities while overcoming adversity. Michael has had a bout with cancer, for which he allowed it to have little impact with his desire to coach and be with his hockey family. We have great admiration for how Michael has fought through this illness, while all along, being a terrific inspiration for all around him on and off the ice. Michael always expresses his appreciation for the CVHA allowing him the opportunity to coach within our program, when in actual fact, we express our gratitude to Michael for what he does for our community program and for what he does on a daily basis, being a member of our Canadian Armed Forces.”