Vipers’ Klepp honoured by shrine

Don Klepp makes sure the Vernon Vipers are on the right track in education.

Don Klepp makes sure the Vernon Vipers are on the right track in education. Helps them line up the proper courses in high school or college and answers tough questions regarding studies.

The longtime education adviser was awarded the Duncan Jamieson Award for his outstanding volunteerism and dedication to the game at the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame banquet last Friday night in Penticton.

“The Vipers are very proud of Don who has been part of the Vipers organization since 2005.,” said head coach/GM Jason Williamson. “He helps our players achieve their educational goals in courses transferable to CIS and NCAA schools.

“Don also is a chairman on the RBC Cup Committee for the 2014 Championship to be held at Kal Tire Place.”

The award is presented in the memory of Jamieson, a longtime supporter of minor hockey in Penticton and throughout B.C.

Jamieson earned lifetime memberships in the Penticton Minor Hockey and the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Associations. He was also a member of the B.C. Amateur Hockey Association and one of the founding members of the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame Society.

For Klepp, 69, volunteerism is all about making Vernon a better place.

“Basically, I want to give back to the community, and partly because of my passion for hockey” said Klepp. “The players understand the need for education. While hockey is their No. 1 love, they are not fooled by the whole picture. They know the odds of reaching the NHL are against them.”

Klepp, who was born in Canwood, Sask., was in teaching for 36 years. He previously was an instructor with Okanagan University College, teaching English and communications. He taught at the University of Saskatchewan before moving here.

He will step down as colour analyst for Viper broadcasts to focus on his RBC Cup volunteer work this season.

The 2013 shrine inductees included: Nancy Wilson, the first even woman to be inducted, former NHLers Mark Recchi and Paul Kariya, former Vancouver Canucks’ head coach and player Marc Crawford, amateur coach Colin Patterson of Cranbrook, and the 1994 and 1995 Western Hockey League (WHL) champion Kamloops Blazers.

Wilson (London, Ont.) was captain of the University of Western Ontario and later played with Vancouver senior teams before embarking on an impressive coaching career.