It wasn't easy for Bruce Spicer to play hockey as a child.

Growing up in Grand Forks during the 1950s, he had to borrow money to buy skates. He didn't have enough money to play for a team. So, he rounded up other children from the neighborhood to play in parks.

"He had nothing when he grew up," his daughter Katie Marcotte said. "It's kind of where I was as a young parent. Without him, my kids would not have played hockey. Now, both my boys are on full-ride college scholarships because of hockey. They love it. They get good grades. They keep their nose clean. Without my dad, it wouldn't have been possible. He made sure they had what they needed."

Bruce passed away unexpectedly last summer at the age of 68.

Soon after, two of Marcotte's co-workers at Berkshire Hathaway — Khonsavanh Boettner and Jodi Danzl — came up with the idea of starting a charity golf tournament in Bruce's honor. They asked Marcotte where she thinks the money should go.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

After sleeping on it for a night, Marcotte knew the answer.

"It's got to be hockey," she said. "That's what my dad loved. He was always helping out kids at daycare so they could play hockey. He was at every hockey game for all of his grandkids. He played hockey himself. That's basically what his life was. He was always so giving, too. If he could help, he did."

The first golf tournament last summer raised $25,000. The second annual event was held Friday at King's Walk.

Proceeds are going to Grand Forks Youth Hockey, which is using the money to cut fees roughly in half for its youngest players, termites (ages 5-6) and mites (ages 7-8).

"The request to us is to use it to help people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it," Grand Forks Youth Hockey president Brad Lucke said. "They told us that they don't need any recognition for it. They just wanted hockey to be as accessible and affordable as possible. The credit is to them for wanting to give back to youth hockey and grow the game. As an organization, we need to strive to make sure we're doing everything on our part to make sure it has the biggest impact it can."

Because of the significant impact of the fundraiser, Grand Forks is renaming its termites and mites program to the 'Bruce Spicer In House Hockey Program.'

"It will have a huge impact on us as we try to grow the association," Lucke said. "It's a significant contribution."

Marcotte said the fundraiser to make youth hockey more affordable and accessible in Grand Forks is a perfect way to honor her father.

"It still kind of chokes me up," Marcotte said. "I just wish he was here to see it. At the tournament, people kept coming and coming and coming to donate. It showed what a stellar person my dad was and the people who loved him. Because of him, people were taking time out of their day to drop off a donation. It was overwhelmingly wonderful."