Kimberley Minor Hockey says promise of huge donation is driving away sponsors
'Kimberley Minor Hockey has not received any donations of any large sums of money'
The Kimberley Minor Hockey Association says the "large rumoured donation" promised by Mike Gould has caused the organization to lose the support of local businesses and sponsors who think their money isn't needed any longer.
"We are writing to inform the public that Kimberley Minor Hockey has not received any donations of any large sums of money this year," says a letter from association president Curtis McLaren.
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"We are asking the public for its continued support as we rely heavily on donations and grants to keep minor hockey fees affordable for our members."
On Oct. 13, the Kimberley Dynamiters Junior B team held a pre-game ceremony to announce Mike Gould had committed to donating $7.5 million to the team.
In interviews afterwards, both Gould and Dynamiters' president James Leroux said part of the donation would go to support minor hockey in the town.
Yesterday, the Dynamiters released a terse statement saying it had not received any of the promised funds from Gould.
On Wednesday morning, Gould told CBC News a child maintenance enforcement order had frozen his accounts, leaving him unable to make good on his promises.
He said the Dynamiters and the 48 people he has promised money to just have to wait a little longer.
"Mostly everyone will be paid out by, let's go with the 24th [of November]," said Gould.
"Right now, as we stand, I'm giving away $1.2 billion."
Meanwhile, the owner of Northwest Grill and Catering in Cranbrook says she is out thousands of dollars because Gould hasn't paid for a party he threw at her restaurant.
Jolene Salanski says Gould invited 50 people to the Oct. 14 event, including members of the Kimberley Dynamiters' executive.
Salanski says she is in debt to staff and suppliers because of Gould.
"It's a huge impact. We took a huge hit from it," she said. .
Cranbrook RCMP confirm they have opened a file in relation to a complaint filed by Salanski and are investigating.
When asked about the allegation of the unpaid bill, Gould acknowledged he was unable to pay it because he couldn't "access his funds."
Gould told CBC News that the bill would be paid in full in cash on Friday.