Parksville’s Howie Meeker, a four-time Stanley Cup winner and Hockey Hall-of-Famer, has been honoured for more than 40 years of support of Special Olympics by being inducted into the Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC) Hall of Fame.
Meeker, a legendary hockey player, coach, and broadcaster, will receive his induction plaque at the annual fundraiser that bears his name, the SOBC-Campbell River Howie Meeker Golf Classic, being held this Saturday.
“I’m very, very excited to become a member of the Special Olympics B.C. Hall of Fame,” Meeker said. “Over the last 45 years, people involved in this wonderful operation at every level, coast to coast, have made the experience something extra special in our lives, Leah and I.
“Much of our appreciation of what we have, and how lucky we are to have it, comes from the Special Olympics athletes. I think we owe them, they don’t owe us, quite honestly.”
Meeker was nominated by SOBC-Campbell River, where he has served as title host for the golf classic for 28 years.
The SOBC Hall of Fame recognizes significant, long-lasting contributions that individuals and groups have made to the organization and movement. Induction into the Hall of Fame celebrates the most outstanding achievements and contributions, and is one of the highest honours bestowed within the SOBC organization.
With his influential and generous advocacy work throughout Canada and B.C., Meeker has helped change the way our province and country see individuals with intellectual disabilities over the last 40 years. He has also been a vital supporter of SOBC – Campbell River athletes and programs over the last 28 years, championing them and lending his name and time to their annual golf tournament that has raised more than $750,000.
“Howie Meeker is very deserving of this recognition based on his more than 40 years of supporting Special Olympics in Canada and B.C., and more than 28 years of backing SOBC-Campbell River with the Howie Meeker Charity Golf Classic,” SOBC President & CEO Dan Howe said.
He is now 92 years old and lives in Parksville with his wife Leah; both are both big-hearted supporters of Special Olympics and serve as patrons of the B.C. Guide Dog Services.
“Special Olympics is a special group of people who… go through life happy as can be,” says Meeker. “They’re a really fun bunch, and some of them have immense talent. If you’re sitting there in your automobile or reading the newspaper and you’re thinking there’s something missing in your life, and if you’ve got an extra buck or two, or better still a few hours a week to get involved, guaranteed you’ll hit the motherlode with Special Olympics.”
— Submitted by Special Olympics B.C.