Sports

Junior hockey team in Kimberley, B.C., scores multi-million dollar donation

Mike Gould, 38, of Calgary, shown in a handout photo, says his love of family and hockey prompted his $7.5 million donation to a Junior B hockey team in Kimberley, B.C. Gould says the money is part of a EuroMillions lottery jackpot he won in 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Mike Gould MANDATORY CREDIT

Mike Gould, 38, of Calgary, shown in a handout photo, says his love of family and hockey prompted his $7.5 million donation to a Junior B hockey team in Kimberley, B.C. Gould says the money is part of a EuroMillions lottery jackpot he won in 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Mike Gould MANDATORY CREDIT

CALGARY — Mike Gould's love of family and hockey was behind the Alberta man's decision to make a multimillion-dollar donation to a hockey club in southeastern B.C.

Giving $7.5 million to the Junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League will help the team in a number of ways, Gould said in an interview Monday.

"They're going to get a new bus, I do know that for a fact," Gould said from Calgary. "It is going to help out with some ice time, too."

Gould, 38, also wants the cash to benefit the region's fledgling triple-A team, as well as Kimberley's local minor hockey association.

He has two sons playing hockey in Kimberley, but both are too young to play for the Dynamiters.

The gift was formally announced at the Dynamiters' home game on Oct. 13.

Gould was born in Kimberley and played hockey there growing up. He said his mother, who died in December, would have been proud of him as he waved to a crowd of 700 when the donation was announced.

"It was a little emotional, not having mom there. She would be down on the ice going 'That's my boy.' "

Gould said he won a 2008 jackpot in a EuroMillions lottery. He declined to say how much he won but investing the windfall is now his full-time job.

"Basically, I just sit back and invest the money now," Gould said.

He said he loves the National Hockey League but realized many years ago that playing in the big leagues wasn't going to happen so he'd have to stay involved at the local level.

While many wealthy people have their money tied up in corporations, Gould said he has more freedom to do what he wants to do with his cash.

"So basically, why not challenge the other people to actually step up a little bit and help out their communities with extra hockey rinks and extra sports." 

He said it's exciting to imagine that a local child might become a professional hockey player because they had a chance to play as a result of his donation.

Dynamiters president James Leroux says he thinks channelling some funds to the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association could boost registration and increase the amount of local talent available to the junior B team.

Curtis McLaren, president of Kimberley Minor Hockey, said the association had heard about the gift but had not yet received any money or been officially informed of the donation.

— By Beth Leighton in Vancouver, with files from CHBZ

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