A fundraiser for a well-known hockey volunteer surpassed its goal within just a few days.
The North Bay Minor Hockey Association announced its fundraising campaign to assist Willie Cowie, a long-time volunteer with the organization who recently had his leg amputated due to complications from diabetes.
The 65-year-old award-winning volunteer has been in the hospital recovering since mid-November and is hoping to go home soon.
Organizers were looking to raise between $10,000 and $15,000 to help upgrade his house and buy him a wheelchair.
"He is going through a lot of challenges so we would like to get him into his house," said Darrell Pitman, president of the North Bay Minor Hockey Association said during a Friday press conference at West Ferris arena.
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The organization set up a Facebook page called "Team Willie". and opened up a GoFundMe page to raise some funds to help him.
However, as of noon on Monday, the fundraising total was well over $21,000.
"It is nice to see with all the time that Willie put back in that everybody still recognizes him. Everybody in the community knows Willie and it is great that everybody has come out to help him," said Pitman, who is a longtime friend of Willie's.
"As I have talked to him, he is so appreciative and he cannot believe it. He cannot believe how much people are helping him."
Willie has spent close to 30 years volunteering in hockey. He has no children of his own but has been described as "a dedicated volunteer and an ambassador for hockey in North Bay."