GRAND BANK, N.L.— Lynn Downey, president of the United Towns Minor Hockey Association, is happy with the ruling in the trial of Michelle LeRiche.
LeRiche was sentenced to five-months incarceration and two years of probation to charges of theft exceeding $5,000, as well as three counts of forgery. More than $53,000 was involved in the theft from the association.
“We’re pleased that she got reprimanded for what she had done to the association,” Downey told The Southern Gazette on Thursday, June 28, following the sentencing.
“It was a lot of stress and strain on not only the executive, but (as well) other community members, volunteers and players,” she added. “At least now we know that there (were) consequences to actions; hopefully it will be a deterrent for anyone else who (might) decide to use funds in accordance to their own needs and not needs of volunteer and different associations.”
Downey said all fundraising efforts over the past season went to pay off the debt incurred by the association as a result of the actions of LeRiche.
“We’re starting off a pretty much zero again this year, and we’re down a number of players to start the season,” said Downey. “So it’s going to be a struggle again this year, but hopefully we’ll have the community volunteers, parent and players on-board with us to dig our heels in and make the minor program in our area strive again once more.”
She added that the association’s executive have already discussed a number of fundraising possibilities.
“I’m sure with all the help from communities and the executive that we’ll have minor hockey a viable part of our communities come fall.”