Three Stars Presented by Lawrie Insurance Group

Harold and Karen have been running the Bruce Lee House League in Madoc, Ontario, since 1990. We caught up with them to learn more about their amazing program and how they got involved in the #HockeyVacciNation campaign. Congratulations, Harold and Karen!

VOTE FOR HAROLD AND KAREN! – Ends Friday, September 24

Answers edited for length and clarity

Who nominated you for the #HockeyVacciNation campaign?

Brad Watson, the Arena Manager at Madoc Arena, submitted a nomination on our behalf.

View Nomination.

We were delighted to learn of the Bruce Lee House League and the over 30 years you have been involved with it! Can you tell us more about the league and how it benefits your community?

The Bruce Lee House League has been around for 31 years and provides recreational hockey at an affordable cost. Hundreds of children have participated over the years and many who have been through the program come back as referees to get volunteer hours for school. There are children whose parents have been through the program and even some grandfathers coaching their grandchildren. It’s all volunteer-based and supported through the community.

Teams play one game a week, on weekdays only. It costs $65 for a 14-week season and if there are multiple children from a family participating, the family is only charged for two kids. Typically have 120 to 150 players each year, with the most registered in a season at 203, and open to anyone 3 to 15 years of age. Some families come from as far as one hour away to participate since it’s the only program of its kind around. The Bruce Lee House League encourages participation, so you’ll see programming like once a player scores two goals, they must keep the puck moving and can’t score again that game.

“It’s unbelievable how they grow over the years,” said Karen. “The coaches are really good and grasp the concept of the program.”

An equipment exchange is also offered, so when children outgrow their old equipment they bring it in and goes out for no fee

Their motto – “Start your hockey career by having fun!”

How has COVID-19 impacted your programming?

This year, 93 children participated. It was the first year where at least a third of the kids could not afford the registration fee and because of the support from the community, they were able to cover the cost.

Kids were grouped by age and team sizes were decreased with only 22 people allowed on the ice at once (a drop from 16-18 players per team in a typical year). There were adjustments to game times and how the games ran to follow safety protocols. No referees were on the ice and so it was called ‘go-go hockey’. They’d throw the puck out after a goal and when the buzzer went off, players would change on the fly and away they go. It was very well received.

The League ends at the start of March Break so were able to get in a successful full season!

To fundraise for the program, a Bash for Cash is held at the local Kiwanis Club. The dance wasn’t able to happen for two years, nor could the skate-a-thon take place during the hunting season where the kids help raise money. With both being cancelled, the community provided tremendous support.

How will the $500 donation be used?

It will give us a good start-up for our upcoming season and enough to run our skills program. It’s a 3-week program that costs $20 but since there may be some availability of ice time earlier this year, we can start the program before the season starts (which is before hunting season). This allows the kids to get on the ice earlier and give the younger ages a chance to get familiar with the ice.

What does it mean for you to be a finalist for the $10,000 grand prize?

It’s so exciting! It really means a lot to us and it’s a great way to support our community.

8 Responses

  1. Many years ago I had the opportunity to help out with some power skating and wouldn’t hesitate to help out again…..Harold and Karen have given so much to he community and to hockey and youth in the area for longer than i can remember!! You won’t find better people than them!!

  2. Harold and Karen are great community people. They believe that you will never know how good it feels until you can do something for someone. They have given up two nights a week for so long to help provide affordable hockey to so many kids. It is a joy to see these children so happy and able to play Canada’s game.

  3. Karen and Harold have helped so many families in our community. Without them many children would not have been able to play hockey!

  4. I have known Karen & Harold since they were in high school. They are both wonderful people who give so much of themselves so willingly. In my mind they are regarded as Mr & Mrs Hockey.

    1. We have known Karen and Harold for many years. Our own 2 sons participated in the Bruce Lee program as well as the 2 of us volunteering for many fundraising events. They both are wonderful ambassadors for our community!
      Congratulations to you both on this nomination!

  5. Harold and Karen have been involved with minor hockey for as long as I can remember. My two boys were a member of this organization for years and loved playing hockey. Even tho they moved up to playing on home teams they always came back and played for the house league as well – more practice makes a better skater. Congratulations Harold and Karen, I am voting for you.

  6. Karen and Harold have inspired so many in our community to give back it’s amazing. So many children have benefited from their program over the years and are so very grateful for the opportunity they wouldn’t have had to play if it wasn’t for them. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. hockey ❤️

  7. Harold and Karen made it possible for so many kids to enjoy the game of hockey, that other wise may not have the opportunity to play. They have a genuine love for the kids in our community.
    Thank you both 🙂

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