Penticton Vees assistant captain Chris Klack pulls a fancy move during a mini game in front of the South Okanagan Events Centre at the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Party on the Plaza held at the start of the season. Kristi Patton/Western News

Penticton Vees on pace to set attendance record

The team averages 3,000 fans per game this season at the South Okanagan Events Centre

The Penticton Vees are on the cusp of breaking another record.

Scratch that, the fans are.

Averaging 3,000 fans per game this season, and just five home games left in the year, they are doing something that has never been done by a CJHL team before.

Assistant coach Matt Fraser added director of community events to his duties for the 2017-18 season and has helped the Vees expand their presence within not only Penticton, but the surrounding communities as well.

“Taking on a new role this year I had an idea of some things I wanted to try out,” said Fraser. “To me, the biggest one is the school visits because the kids at the elementary schools love seeing the players up close and in person. The look on the kids faces when they get to play floor hockey with their favourite Vees is something that shows you how important it is to get out in the community.”

The Vees have been to five elementary schools — Carmi Elementary, Parkway Elementary, Kaleden Elementary, Uplands Elementary and Wiltse Elementary — so far this year. More school visits are planned for the final month of the regular season as well.

“It’s not just the school visits, however,” Fraser said. “There are so many other events that we’ve been extremely proud to take part in as a team this year. We receive such incredible support from this community, it’s only fair that we return the favour.”

Other events the Vees have participated in include Skate with the Vees at McLaren Arena, the Soupateria, Cover With Kindness blanket drive, Nightmare on Front Street, United Way Drive Thru Breakfast, Share the Spirit for Women’s Shelters and the Penticton Cares Food Drive for the Salvation Army.

Related: Donations critical for Cover with Kindness

Another big event that is fast approaching is the Family Day event at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Sponsored by the City of Penticton and Spectra, the event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 12 and features a wide variety of family-oriented activities.

Vees players and staff will be on hand for a free skate with the Vees on the ice at the SOEC from noon to 2 p.m. Skate rentals will be available for $2 and all proceeds will go towards Penticton Minor Hockey.

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