Kelsey Foote, the fiancée of RCMP Const. Graham Holmes who died in a snowmobiling accident in Nunavut in April, and Rod Wood, vice president of the Victoria Shamrocks Junior ‘A’s, show off some of the 200 pounds of lacrosse equipment that the Victoria Shamrocks donated to send to the kids in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Kelsey Foote, the fiancée of RCMP Const. Graham Holmes who died in a snowmobiling accident in Nunavut in April, and Rod Wood, vice president of the Victoria Shamrocks Junior ‘A’s, show off some of the 200 pounds of lacrosse equipment that the Victoria Shamrocks donated to send to the kids in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Lacrosse donation honours former Shawnigan RCMP constable’s memory

Truckload of lacrosse equipment heading to Kugluktuk

Kelsey Foote was just expecting to receive a lacrosse stick or two when she approached the Victoria Shamrocks organization looking for help.

But Foote, the fiancée of RCMP Const. Graham Holmes, who died in a snowmobiling accident in Nunavut in April, said she was overwhelmed when the Shamrocks donated more than 200 pounds of lacrosse equipment and jerseys for her to bring back to the children and youth in Kugluktuk, where Holmes last served.

Rod Wood, vice-president of the Victoria Shamrocks Junior A team, presented Foote with the equipment at the Shawnigan Lake RCMP detachment on Aug. 1

“This is very heartwarming and it means the world to me,” Foote said at the detachment.

“I’m good friends with Rod Wood and I asked if he had a few sticks laying around that I could take back up to Kugluktuk when I return to collect the rest of our things. They are very short on lacrosse gear in that fly-in only community.”

Holmes, 30, died on April 6 when his snowmobile went off a 30-metre cliff near Bloody Falls in Kugluk Territorial Park while he was off duty.

RELATED STORY: MEMORIAL BEING HELD FOR RCMP VETERAN WHO DIED SNOWMOBILING

He grew up in Shawnigan Lake, where he spent five years as an RCMP officer before he was transferred to Kugluktuk about a year and a half ago.

Holmes was well known for his love of kids and did his best to support them in a community that had one of the highest suicide rates in North America just a few years ago.

Foote said the youth suicide rate in Kugluktuk dropped to near zero after a teacher introduced the kids to lacrosse, but the program was stopped when the teacher left the community.

“Kugluktuk now has a new recreation coordinator and he started the lacrosse program again, but there was little equipment to play with,” she said.

“Graham loved the kids up there and he was always going out of his way to make sure they were having fun. He was really just a big kid himself. I thought I’d help out by approaching the Victoria Shamrocks, but I never expected I’d need extra room on the airplane for all this equipment when I return to Kugluktuk. It’s very touching.”

Wood said the general manager of the Victoria Shamrocks was a police officer in Victoria and was eager to answer the call.

“We just changed our uniforms for this year, so we donated all of our last-year uniforms as well as equipment,” he said.

“We also went to our players to ask for some of the extra equipment they had and they came through big time as well. All together, we came up with a whole truckload of lacrosse equipment. We’re pleased to be doing a small part in keeping the lacrosse program alive in Kugluktuk.”

RCMP Const. Pam Bolton worked with Holmes on Haida Gwaii in 2009, which was his first posting.

She remembers him as a “positive guy” who was a good person to be around.

“He was a very community-oriented person and I find it absolutely heartwarming that so many people helped out to get so much lacrosse equipment to Kugluktuk,” she said.

“It’s amazing.”

Just Posted

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Island woman’s magic mushroom trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Grade 3 student Nate Twaddle, who uses a walker for a rare neurological condition, has been zooming along a new accessible walkway since it was installed in early October at Willway Elementary in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Langford mother thankful for accessible walkway that helps son connect with peers

Rare neurological condition means Grade 3 student uses wheelchair, walker to play

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

The Fraser Institute’s annual report card on B.C. elementary schools ranks schools across the province based on standardized tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Opinion: Fraser Institute delivers elementary schools the usual mixed report card

What we learn doesn’t change, but maybe how we react to it should

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

A truck arrives with a load of logs at Western Forest Products’ mill in Ladysmith. More work will be coming to the Ladysmith sawmill in February, says WFP. (Black Press file photo)
More work at Ladysmith mill in new year, says Western Forest Products

Company says Ladysmith operation to see second shift in February

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Woman spits in Campbell River business operator’s face

Spitter claimed she has COVID-19, in downtown confrontation

Participants pray in preparation for the start of the convoy through the streets of the Comox Valley, Wednesday, Dec. 2, to show support for farmers in India. Photo by Terry Farrell
VIDEO: Comox Valley residents hold rally and convoy in support of the plight of farmers in India

New legislation in India calls for for the deregulation of crop pricing

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

The Royal Canadian Legion’s annual Poppy Campaign poppies. This year the fundraising effort was mixed for local legions which have suffered from financial strain due to COVID-19. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Mixed year for Legions during annual poppy campaign

Some find success, some struggle amidst the pandemic

A 53-unit building to be built at 6010 Hammond Bay Rd. (Murdoch Company Architecture Planning Ltd. image)
Province announces support for more than 60 units of affordable housing in Nanaimo

Building B.C. Community Housing Fund partners with Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society

Most Read