Longtime Aldergrove volunteer surprised with red carpet award ceremony on ice

Chris Lakusta was awarded ‘Volunteer of the Decade’ this month after years of work behind the scenes

What started out as a usual Wednesday night for volunteer Christopher Lakusta as he prepared to start rolling to capture the Kodiaks’ latest home game live – took a surprising turn.

What the 31-year-old hockey buff from Aldergrove didn’t know – was that something special was about to happen.

Lakusta was “just doing his job,” waiting to hit “record” on the Kodiaks’ fourth playoff game against Mission City on March 4.

But as time went on, the game didn’t start.

A red carpet was rolled out and Kodiaks’ co-owner Ingrid Harkins motioned for the long-time volunteer to come with her out onto the ice.

“I was speechless,” he told the Aldergrove Star.

After getting used to working behind the scenes at games, Lakusta was himself thrust into the spotlight and a roar of arena applause.

“It was very touching and I don’t feel that very often,” he admitted.

Harkins and assistant general manager Roy El Caswell then presented Lakusta with a “Volunteer of the Decade” plaque, a personalized game-worn Kodiaks jersey, and a lifetime pass to all Pacific Junior Hockey League games.

RESULTS OF THE GAME: Kodiaks oust Outlaws, advancing to final playoff match for PJHL title

The Aldergrove resident has spent his last 10 years volunteering weekly to bring the sights and sounds of the game to online viewers. He’s even helped keep score as a goal judge, with a close eye on net.

“Volunteering has just always been in me,” Lakusta said, mentioning his previous decade of volunteering as a Scout leader.

“Being paid for it would just ruin the fun,” he said.

It’s because Lakusta is a true fan of the thriving Junior B Kodiaks that he continues to support them in such a way.

He’s also known team owners – including Rick Harkins – since he was 8 years old, when he played baseball with their son Travis.

“It’s part of the reason why I came to watch the team at first,” he said.

Lakusta remembers being 19 when he first heard that Aldergrove was starting its own Junior B hockey team.

He even recalls the exact day: “ Sept 3, 2008,” Lakusta said.

As a curious 3-year-old, Lakusta has fond memories of watching Langley rookies earn their stripes on the ice at George Preston.

His mom, who then worked at the recreation centre, would take him to see games.

“I remember seeing Scott Gomez play for the Surrey Eagles,” Lakusta lauded.

Then, “he was drafted in 1998 to the New Jersey Devils – he’s a legend.”

Ever since those days Lakusta’s had a sincere interest in the development of local hockey players and teams.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Just Posted

LETTER: More pedestrians out, so please drive safely

Pleading with motorists to slow down and to ensure everyone makes it through this challenging time

Televangelist with office in Langley claims to ‘heal’ viewers of COVID-19 through their TV screens

On the contrary, Langley churches offer free resources and goers self-isolate to ‘flatten the curve’

Township firefighters donate blood and deliver meals during COVID-19 crisis

Safe to donate blood during pandemic, says Canadian Blood Services

Langley community gardens reopen

They were closed due to virus concerns, but they have been declared an essential service

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read