Making a difference: Hutcheson gives to hockey

Penticton minor hockey's volunteer of the year does what he does for the kids

Brian Hutcheson was named the Penticton Minor Hockey Association Volunteer of the Year for what he gives back to the association.

Brian Hutcheson was named the Penticton Minor Hockey Association Volunteer of the Year for what he gives back to the association.

Brian Hutcheson doesn’t like being in the spotlight.

But being a minor hockey volunteer doesn’t put him in it in his opinion.

In fact, he said if people are doing it for that reason, they are probably there for the wrong reasons.

However, the spotlight shone on him during the Penticton Minor Hockey Association annual general meeting May 21.

Along with a handful of other people getting recognized for the hard work they do, Hutcheson was named the Volunteer of the Year, receiving a glass trophy with his named engraved on it as a reward.

“It was very thoughtful. I appreciated it very much,” said Hutcheson, adding he’s not good with drawing attention to himself. “I’m appreciative but a little tough that way. I don’t do it for myself.”

Hutcheson does it for his kids, Liam, 18 and Aiden, 15, and has been a minor hockey volunteer for 12 years. Helping out allows Hutcheson to spend more time with his kids and this year he managed the midget Tier 2 Vees, which his sons played for.

It was the first time they played on the same team. Hutcheson also chaired the provincial midget tournament Penticton hosted this year and thanks to the help of his team, he said it went well. He also assisted with coaching and did the team’s laundry, which resulted in him blowing up the dryer. He said that happened when a hanger touched something in the back.

Among Hutcheson’s fond memories volunteering in hockey was the last game in this year’s provincial championship.

“It hit me really hard. Watching my oldest boy because he is graduating from PMHA, it really hit me,” said Hutcheson. “You think back and the reflection wasn’t the games. You think you are going to remember all the games, but it was the road trips in the car, in the hotel room.”

Hutcheson also watched Liam win two provincial championships.

A teacher at Trout Creek Elementary School, Hutcheson helps with basketball, floor hockey, soccer and cross country. He has also coached in minor soccer.

“I enjoy working with kids in my profession. I just want things to be good for them,” he said. “I enjoy watching kids excel.”

Hutcheson comes from a family of volunteers as his father was a Rotarian and his mother helps the Salvation Army. They were also involved with the Penticton Knights hockey team and billeted players. Hutcheson feels good about volunteering because he takes pride in doing a good job, especially when the end result is successful.

“I think you need to give back. It’s your community,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing for me. We’re lucky to live where we live. I think there’s lots of opportunities around. It doesn’t have to be just sports.”

Hutcheson said for anyone thinking about giving their time to a cause, he recommends they find something they are passionate about.

“You do get some sort of satisfaction out of helping others,” he said. “I don’t think we do that enough in our lives.”

Hutcheson plans to give his time when Penticton hosts the B.C. Winter Games in 2016. His friend Doug MacMillan, vice-president of the Winter Games organizing committee,  approached Hutcheson about working in some capacity and he’s looking forward to that.

Before going up to receive his award from PMHA, former vice-president Paul DeShane said Hutcheson always gives “110 per cent” by himself or in a team.

“Always steps up to the plate,” said DeShane. “Really went the extra mile.”

Hutcheson has his glass trophy sitting on a mantle at home along with team pictures and other plaques.

“This is a nice one. I was surprised and it was nice to receive it. Couldn’t have done things without the support of a great group of parents.”