A volunteer’s dedication is the cornerstone of any successful minor sports association.
For more than 35 years there was one name synonymous with the Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association. That name was Wendy Pottie.
Throughout her many years as a registrar, bill collector, archivist and public relations person, Pottie cared for and nurtured minor hockey in Salmon Arm.
“Wendy was the epitome of a dedicated volunteer here in Salmon Arm,” said Roy Sakaki, Salmon Arm Minor Hockey administrator.
Sadly, Pottie passed away last year.
Pottie has been described by many as the heart and soul of minor hockey in Salmon Arm.
Kelly Moores can attest to that statement.
Moores, who was involved with minor hockey, took over the registration process when Pottie suffered a stroke in the early 2000s.
“She was absolutely the best volunteer I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and I have worked with a large number,” said Moores.
He recalls her organization was second to none.
“She kept copious records in her basement. She kept files on every player. If you mentioned a player’s name from her time with minor hockey, she could tell you all about that player,” recalls an emotional Moores.
He recounts a few instances when she was able to help a family who lost their child’s birth certificate.
Even after her boys finished playing minor hockey, Pottie tirelessly continued her volunteer work.
“It means a lot to everyone in the community that she stayed on as a volunteer even after her kids had left the sport,” said Moores.
John Maxwell, former president of Salmon Arm Minor Hockey, dubbed Pottie “minor hockey’s den mother.”
Pottie was even known to help out financially allowing for deferred payments so that those with financial difficulties could afford to have their kids play.
Last year after Pottie passed away, the Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association renamed the yearly volunteer award in Pottie’s name.
“For someone who gave so much to the community we decided to rename the award after Wendy, so that her memory will live on in minor hockey,” said Sakaki.
Pottie enjoyed many hours of watching children of all ages play minor hockey in many arenas.
“You could really see that she cared about each and every one of the players that she helped register,” said Moores.
She always watched Hockey Night in Canada on television unless there was a Silverbacks game in town.
This Saturday, as part of the fourth annual Hockey Day in Salmon Arm, Pottie’s husband John will be on the ice to help with the ceremonial puck drop before the Silverbacks game.