BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
Anyone who has gone to a Spruce Kings hockey game in Prince George will most likely recognize Eveline Gropler. She and her husband Eric have been dedicated fans and actively involved with the team behind the scenes as directors.
However, while this may be her favourite, she has dedicated her time and energy to other grateful organizations over the years. Eveline was Executive Director of the Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum and she could also be seen supporting her husband in his many endeavours.
Eveline has been an active bowler at Strike Zone Bowling and was always ready to help Eric in his role as Vice President and then President and they were also active members of the dart club where they helped in a leadership capacity.
Eveline loved her work at the Prince George Legion and specifically enjoyed being in charge of the meat draws but as her husband became part of the Board of Directors she happily jumped in and helped out anywhere she was needed.
I have seen firsthand the hard work they have both put in to supporting the local hockey team and the community and it was with great pride that she wore the volunteer jacket at the BC Winter Games in Prince George. Eveline has always been, and continues to be a great ambassador for this community and her love for the region and the people is crystal clear.
This pales in comparison, however, to her love for her husband who she has stood by for over 50 years and the love and pride she has for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loves and is loved by them and this is her true legacy.
In November they organized a night of appreciation at one of the Spruce Kings home games to recognize our first responders following last summer’s record-breaking forest fire season. It was a great night where residents from Prince George and the surrounding area could come out to say ‘thank you’.
Earlier this year, I had privilege of sitting with Eveline and Eric at a Spruce Kings fundraiser, which the couple had been instrumental in organizing. During the evening, Eveline had mentioned that she hadn’t been feeling well, thinking it might be pneumonia, but that she was determined to be there to make sure the event was a success.
Shortly after the fundraiser Eveline was unfortunately diagnosed with lung cancer. The outpouring of love and support from the community since her diagnosis is a testament to how loved she is in Prince George.
When I went to visit her after she was home from the hospital I was struck by her determination to beat this and I know she is fighting hard every day to make this a reality.
Eveline is an amazing woman and an important part of our community. She is also a tough lady and I know that if anyone can beat it, she can!
To Eveline, thank you for all that you have done for Prince George, and especially the Spruce Kings. Keep fighting knowing that all of Prince George, and Northern BC, has your back.