Merritt Mayor Linda Brown was hailed as a “Community Hero” at Rogers Arena as the Vancouver Canucks took on the San Jose sharks this past weekend.
Brown, along with Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun and Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne, performed the ceremonial puck-drop at the pregame on “Community Heroes Night,” which took place April 9. The ceremony, sponsored by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, also honoured essential workers, first responders, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and health care professionals. The group of honourees were invited to centre ice, and shook hands with the team Captains prior to the national anthem and puck-drop ceremony.
“It was a humbling and amazing experience that I will never forget,” said Brown of her time on the ice.
“I must state here that it is the citizens dealing with the devastation from the flood that are the real heroes. My heart goes out to them.”
Referencing the ongoing flood recovery efforts and anticipated announcements on housing, Brown added that the City is “doing everything we can to bring them home as soon as possible.”
The BC government has committed $53.6million in flood recovery funding to help devastated communities rebuild. This includes $24.25million in funds for the City of Merritt, announced on Apr 14, 2022.
“These funds will not solve all our problems and the road ahead will still be incredibly hard for so many of our residents, though we have been given a much-needed dose of hope. This funding enables us to commence housing projects that will support hundreds of people and to construct infrastructure where we never could have afforded adequate recovery on our own. Each day, we will work and grow stronger as a community, and soon, so many of our residents will be able to come home.”
It has now been five months since the November 15th, 2021 flooding of BC’s interior that inspired BC’s own NHL team to honour those who contributed to their communities during the flooding, as well as devastating wildfire seasons and ongoing global pandemic. The Vancouver Canucks described the event in a recent press release as a “special night that will honour these countless heroes.”
Special it was, as the “Community Heroes” went on to enjoy an excellent view of the Canucks 4-2 victory over the Sharks. Some Canuck team members, as well as Mayor Brown, wore the limited edition jersey, which includes the team’s iconic orca logo redesigned as a superhero.
Merrittonians can also nominate a “Community Hero” they believe have made a positive impact during turbulent times online, at nhl.com/canucks/community.