CORNER BROOK — The Kinsmen Club of Corner Brook says it needs to find a new major fundraiser if it is to maintain its charitable work in the community now the Corner Brook Royals are leaving town.
The service club will continue to operate the canteen at the Pepsi Centre, but it made the most money from that source during senior hockey league games.
That revenue will dwindle significantly now that the Royals have opted to play out of Deer Lake’s Hodder Memorial Stadium instead.
“We do the canteen at many other events, like concerts or circuses or kids shows, but those things pale in comparison to the hockey games for the amount of revenue we take in,” said Brian Mullins, who co-chairs the Kinsmen Club’s canteen committee. “I can’t give you an exact dollar figure, but we are talking in the thousands of dollars.”
The Kinsmen Club pumps every cent of profit back into a wide range of community causes, whether it’s a $100 sponsorship for a sports team or purchasing expensive equipment to help meet local health-care needs.
In fact, said Mullins, there are not many causes that get turned down by the organization, even if it can provide only modest help in some cases.
“Are we still going to be giving money out to the community? Yes,” said Mullins. “In the capacity that we have? Probably not, unless we can find some other fundraising events to cover off this lost revenue."
The level of support the Kinsmen can give to its regular or any other cause will be dictated by the budget that will be discussed at a club meeting early next month.
Mullins and his fellow Kinsmen expect there will be some ideas coming forward to somehow make up the shortfall created by the absence of senior hockey.
It already hosts an annual golf tournament and its horse races — a fun event involving model horses advance by a wheel of chance along a floor board to a finish line — are a popular part of Corner Brook Winter Carnival every winter.
“We’re always looking to take on new fundraisers anyway because every dollar we raise goes back to the community,” said Mullins. “This one is a bit of a blow to us, but I’m sure it will make us stronger and we will look for something else to offset it.”
The club was shocked with the news the Royals were pulling out of the Pepsi Centre, given the rich legacy senior hockey has in the city.
“It’s not only us who are going to feel it,” said Mullins. “The community will feel it too. Even the Pepsi Centre itself will: we have to pay them to operate there, so they are also going to lose revenue.”
Mullins added it will be more than a loss of revenue.
“Operating the canteen at the hockey games gave us a chance to socialize, not only with other members of the club, but the community as well,” he said.
The Kinsmen also used to run the bar at the Pepsi Centre and would have operated it during other events at the centre, including conventions, weddings and concerts. That end two years ago when Jennifer’s restaurant landed the civic centre’s catering contract and took over the bar service too.
“That had been a big generator for us too,” said Mullins.