PMHA gets fresh faces

Penticton Minor Hockey association begins process of moving forward with fresh faces on board

Amid the dark cloud of the Penticton Minor Hockey Association missing $315,650 it’s board ended up with fresh faces following elections.

Paul DeShane expressed why he wanted to continue on as the PMHA’s vice-president to the 110 parents and guests attending the annual general meeting at the Days Inn Conference Centre Wednesday night, but found himself replaced by Val Fulton. Fulton climbs the ladder after being a director, who had one year remaining on her term. She also is the midget hockey director.

Before being voted in as vice-president, Fulton told the crowd she wants what’s best for the association.

“There are people out there that would like to see change,” she said.

The changes to the board of directors included the additions of Barb Main and Chad DeLeeuw joining current directors Stacey Gagno, Rod Kenney and Ted Van Troyen. Frank Darin, a board member of 20 years, chose to bow out prior to the voting and Johnny Aantjes lost in the elections. One spot remains for a director.

“I think there are some good names there with good passion,” said Darin after stepping down.

Jo Ann DeShane did not stay on as secretary and is replaced by Carla Burns.

Minor Hockey parent Scott Rogers said he didn’t see any real drastic changes to the board.

With Fulton replacing DeShane as vice-president, Rogers said it’s a “positive in the sense that everybody here was passionate about minor hockey.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s a knee jerk reaction to the change,” he said. “Everybody that was here was probably equally passionate about the direction that we had to go. Val in this case, she clearly stated her case that she was prepared to work hard. That’s all we can ask for.”

Brian Hutcheson, another concerned parent, was positive about the changes.

“I think it’s not bad to get new blood in there a little bit because there are a lot of people that have questions about what has transpired,” said Hutcheson. “This way it gives a fresh look. People can get some answers. Aesthetically it probably looks good too for the people that are on the board.”

When asked if he was happy with the response with respect to the missing money that the PMHA alleges was taken by the late Sandy Elder, Hutcheson said no.

“I don’t think there were a lot of answers given,” he said. “I understand the reasons that they can’t say a lot. I came here expecting very few answers. I just think it’s disappointing that it took this long to figure it out. That’s the biggest thing as a parent in hockey.”

Hutcheson heard rumblings about it in the fall, but figured the number was smaller.

“The amount of money that was gone is huge. That is scary,” he added. “I think that’s why it’s good to have some new people on the board. Maybe a fresh face to look at what’s happened. I’m not blaming anybody on the board. I’m not accusing anybody.”

Prior to the elections, the association also presented awards. Fulton was given the Chester Kascak Award, while Kenney was named the rep coach of the year, Rob McLaughlin was named rec coach of the year. Blair and Barb Main were named safety person of the year, Danielle Trahan was named manager of the year and Hutcheson is the volunteer of the year.