Darlene Bennett, widow of homicide victim Paul Bennett, with Marty Jones, president of Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association. (submitted photo)

Darlene Bennett, widow of homicide victim Paul Bennett, with Marty Jones, president of Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association. (submitted photo)

‘Enduring legacy’ for slain hockey coach Paul Bennett in Cloverdale

A ‘Love of Hockey Bursary’ among initiatives created by hockey association since his homicide in 2018

As kids and parents in Cloverdale get ready for another hockey season, they continue to remember and pay tribute to a coach whose voice is no longer heard on the bench.

At the start of last season, Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association announced a number of initiatives to honour Paul Bennett.

Bennett, a married father of two, and an operating-room nurse department manager at Peace Arch Hospital, was shot to death outside his 67A Avenue home on June 23, 2018, in what police consider a case of mistaken identity. His killer is still on the loose.

This week, the results of efforts “to create an enduring legacy of the memory and spirit of our friend and coach” have been made public by the Colts hockey organization, in addition to plans “to continue this work throughout the coming season,” the association said in a news release.

Special “P.B.” helmet stickers have been worn by hundreds of local hockey players, including members of Bennett’s adult hockey teams and those in other associations.

Also, donations were collected for the Paul Bennett Love of Hockey Bursary, with the total reaching more than $2,800, according to Deanna Cox, the association’s vice-president of administration.

“We also held the first annual Paul Bennett BLAST! Tournament – a celebration of all things hockey – for our Atom players,” Cox noted. “This was a big success in its first incarnation, and we will be expanding this event further this season, as the waitlist was significant.”

homelessphoto

Pictured: Paul Bennett.

The association also continued to offer First Shift, an introduction-to-hockey program that was a passion of Bennett’s.

“We introduced another 46 kids to the sport we all love,” Cox said. “After that program, we monitored for those players registering for this upcoming season, and we were very pleased to award the inaugural Paul Bennett Love of Hockey Bursaries to two graduates of that program, Alexander Washi and Reid Phillips.”

Cox said the association was thrilled to see support “from many of our members for Paul’s family, especially his son Adam in his first season of hockey after his father passed.”

Vancouver Canucks pitched in to host the Bennett family for a game against Ottawa Senators, Paul’s favourite team.

“We are very grateful for all these efforts to make this season as smooth and enjoyable for Adam, his mom Darlene and his brother Owen,” Cox said.

“At the same time,” she added, “we watched Adam exhibit heart and determination throughout this past season. From tryouts through the final games of the year, we saw him work to make his Dad proud in his first ever season without Paul as his Coach. As a result, Adam was voted by the membership to be our ‘Most Inspiring Player’ for the 2018-2019 season.”

Over the summer, the association sponsored a hole and participated in the inaugural Paul Bennett Memorial Golf Tournament. That event raised an additional $4,000 for the bursary fund, in addition to funds for Peace Arch Hospital and a RCMP-administered fund for victims of crime.

This season, the Canucks have become title sponsor of the First Shift program.

“We are also excited to continue to see more and more kids come into the game, including many new Canadians, and we hope to continue to grow our association and spread the love of hockey in Paul’s name,” Cox said. “We have already had to add teams to many divisions this season, and registration is ongoing for kids aged five to 12.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Adam Bennett, son of the late Paul Bennett, with Marty Jones, president of Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association. (submitted photo)

Adam Bennett, son of the late Paul Bennett, with Marty Jones, president of Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association. (submitted photo)

Just Posted

FILE PHOTO: Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for South Surrey and White Rock.
Snowfall warning issued for Surrey, White Rock

Accumulation of two to 15 centimetres is anticipated across B.C.’s south coast

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Jan. 24

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

White Rock Rotary Club president Mauricio Browne de Paula (front right) with other club and community volunteers at the launch of the free hot lunch program at the city parking lot at Russell Avenue and Johnston Road on May 21. (File photo)
Daily demand for White Rock Rotary, city lunch program surpasses 40

Recipients ‘are very good people… going through some tough times’

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Most Read