Community effort saves Brown Bears

  • By Peninsula Clarion Editorial
  • Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:22pm
  • Opinion

Congratulations to the Kenai River Brown Bears, and kudos to the community that supports them; thanks to their efforts, the team will be back on the ice for the 2017-18 season.

Now comes the hard part — keeping the enthusiasm generated during the effort to save the Brown Bears going through the highs and lows of a junior hockey season.

Since the Brown Bears, members of the North American Hockey League, announced in late February that the team would cease operations following the season, mostly due to financial issues, members of the community have taken it upon themselves to bring the team back.

Raising $300,000 in commitments to next year’s team in just 25 days has been a remarkable endeavor, particularly at a time when businesses and individuals are feeling an economic pinch.

And the Brown Bears are an organization worth saving. Providing high level hockey throughout the winter is just a part of what the team has done for the community. Players frequently spend time volunteering in a wide range of capacities, and the organization has been recognized for its community service.

Support for the Brown Bears has come from a broad swath of the community, from fans buying season tickets, to support from business owners — even the arch-rival Fairbanks Ice Dogs contributed to the effort.

With the immediate hurdle cleared, the Brown Bears organizations and its boosters can now start to plan for the long haul. The potential for new teams in Anchorage of the Mat-Su certainly helps the Brown Bears’ prospects, running a junior hockey team in Alaska is an expensive proposition, particularly with the rest of the league moving eastward and teams here expected to pick up the tab for visitors’ travel. Much has been done, but there is still much to do.

We hope the community’s enthusiasm for the team, which was exhibited by the fans who packed the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex for the squad’s final home games of the season, continues into next season and beyond. As we noted, the Brown Bears have been more than just a hockey team over the past decade — they’ve been part of the community. We’re glad to see our community reciprocate; that kind buy-in is essential to any organization’s success.

And we’re also looking forward to seeing the Brown Bears back on the ice when the puck drops on the 2017-18 season next fall.

Game on!

More in Opinion

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: The foolish men claiming self-defense

It’s not just misguided teenagers carrying guns who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Opinion: State defends its right to cut nonexistent taxes

This from a state that has no property tax on homes or businesses, only on the oil industry.

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. (courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Invent your future at UAA

At UAA we’re providing the tools to help students of all ages and skills chart a new course forward.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Alaska Voices: Vaccination is the still best protection from COVID-19

The Alaska State Medical Association encourages you to protect yourselves and your community from preventable illness by getting recommended vaccines.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
The sad diminishment of Rep. Don Young

Young seems afraid to demand his party leader defend the dignity of the institution he loves.

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Clarion file)
Alaska Voices: Restore our strong campaign donation limits

Without campaign spending limits, the ideal of one person, one vote is no longer really true.

The Final Redistricting Map approved for the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna area is seen on Nov. 9, 2021. (Map via akredistrict.org)
Alaska Voices: The Alaska Redistricting Board’s last-minute gerrymandering failed Alaska

Our Constitution outlines rules for a redistricting process designed to uphold public trust.