New for the 2019-20 season will be the Cooper Nemeth Memorial Player Assistance Fund. This money will divided up and given to successful applicants within Winnipeg Minor, who qualify to receive funding for their upcoming year of AA hockey. This fund was created to help offset the costs of playing hockey at the AA level.
The Cooper Nemeth Memorial Player Assistance Fund is intended to assist children and youth who would not otherwise participate in minor hockey related activities. Players/families interested in applying for funding are asked to fully complete the application form found on the Hockey Winnipeg website.
This funding may include, but would not be limited to, the following incurred expenses: Area Association program participation, administrative and volunteer fees; league and exhibition game travel expenses; additional ice fees, including try-out ice; tournament fees; monies collected for team pictures and wind-up parties; medals and awards; and personal clothing items which become the property of the applicable player.
Money raised from the The Cooper Nemeth Hockey Memorial – an annual hockey tournament held in North Kildonan – makes up the monetary value held in this player assistance fund. Although the money handed out will go to a AA hockey player, families with children playing hockey outside of the AA classification who are in need of financial assistance can apply for the Diane Woods Financial Assistance Program.
Nemeth (1998-2016) was a prominent Grade 12, Midget AA hockey player for the River East Marauders, who went missing after a house party in February of 2016. The Bear Clan Patrol squad amongst thousands of others spent days searching the many neighbourhoods of Winnipeg, until Nemeth’s body was found.
Following an extensive investigation, Nemeth’s death was ruled a murder in a ‘drug deal gone wrong’. His assailant Nicholas Bell-Wright – who was on probation following a previous violent attack – pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November of 2017, and has since been locked away on an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for another 14 years.
For those feeling lonely or in danger, the Kids Help Phone now offers textual communication. Text the word ‘CONNECT’ to 686868 for immediate assistance on the Crisis Text Line at any time 24/7/365.