INNISFAIL – The Innisfail Eagles will be receiving a $1,500 Community Grant from the town to help cover Allan Cup expenses.
However, town council has opted not to go further with additional financial support, such as a buy-in into the hockey team’s sponsorship program.
“I was they'd already been awarded some funding. We have many teams that go out of province on various endeavors and individuals as well. We need to try and keep it fair and equitable for all,” said Mayor Jean Barclay. “We also have a policy around community grants, and the Community Services Standing Committee ordered $1,500 for the Eagles, so we were satisfied with that.”
The issue of support for the Innisfail Eagles Hockey Club’s upcoming Allan Cup journey to Ontario arose at council’s regular meeting on March 13.
Todd Becker, the town’s chief administrative officer, told council the town had received a March 8 letter from the Eagles that included its sponsorship program to help the team’s expenses for its trip to Dundas, Ont. to compete in the Allan Cup championship series from April 16 to 22.
The Eagles’ letter to the town said the team was working on a fundraising effort to raise $60,000 for its trip to the national senior men’s hockey championship tournament.
Barclay reminded the rest of council of the Community Grant but asked them whether more financial assistance should be given or whether the $1,500 in grant funds was sufficient.
“I reflect back on previous situations with the Eagles (and) I think I've endorsed our support all the way back to some debt forgiveness,” said Coun. Gavin Bates, adding he did not “have a problem” with the Community Grant contribution. “I don't personally see the need to do more. I think the support from the standing committee is just fine and I support that.”
Coun. Don Harrison agreed with Bates and also wanted to know what will happen if the Eagles can not raise its targeted $60,000.
“There's a lot of unanswered questions. I think $1,500 as showing our support to them is quite sufficient,” said Harrison.
Council then agreed to pass a motion it supported the Innisfail Eagles Hockey Club through the Community Services Standing Committee grant and that it accepted the Eagles correspondence as information.