Former NHL star’s consumer dispute ends in big win for charity
Lynda Steele & Sandra Hermiston, CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, November 5, 2013 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 5, 2013 7:34PM PST
What started out as a consumer dispute has ended with a big win for a Vancouver charity, after a former NHL star contacted consumer reporter Lynda Steele for help.
In 2009, former NHL defenceman Mike Commodore was playing in a celebrity golf tournament in the Okanagan when he paid several thousand dollars for a charity auction item which included a big screen TV with surround sound. However, due to his busy schedule it took him a few years to get around to claiming the package.
When Commodore did finally contact the prize donor, Langley Audio Visual Unlimited, he claims the BC company told him to get lost.
"I wasn't very impressed with that. I mean I spent the money; the money came out of my account. I mean a deal's a deal," said Commodore.
Commodore says the organizer of the golf tournament offered to give him his money back, but he didn’t want to take money from a charity, so he decided to contact consumer reporter Lynda Steele instead.
After CTV sent an email to the company, the deal was back on. The company said it was a simple misunderstanding.
But Commodore is now playing hockey for the KHL team Admiral Vladivostok in Russia and no longer lives in Canada, so he wanted to donate the audio-visual package to charity.
"I don't know any charities in the Vancouver area so I asked you to find somebody who would appreciate it," he said.
Steele put Commodore in touch with the Salvation Army, which was delighted to take ownership of the audio-visual package.
The 55 inch HD 3D TV with surround sound was installed recently in Vancouver Harbour Light, a Salvation Army facility for men in the end stages of a drug and alcohol rehab program. Residents were delighted to hear the gift came from a pro athlete.
"To have this without having to raise any money was just such a surprise. It just dropped out of the blue. It's fantastic," said Major Judy Regamey, executive director at Harbour Light.
"It's great and for somebody, a hockey player, someone who makes so much money anyway to just be so selfless? It just warms my heart," said Matthew Morgan, Salvation Army client.
The big screen TV is a luxury in a facility that works hard to fundraise money for just the basics.
"It's very selfless and so we really appreciate the fact that we were thought of and we could benefit from his generosity, so thank you,Mike," said Regamey.
"I'm glad some people can enjoy it, some people that will actually use it and it makes their evenings go quicker or whatever they like to watch. That's great. It makes me happy," said Commodore.