- BC Games
Coquitlam appliance store cleaning 1000s of team jerseys for free
Snow flies, sweat drips, bodies crash and bang.
That's a typical hockey day in Canada and while Tri-City minor teams may clash on the ice, their jerseys get a little friendlier treatment thanks to a United Boulevard retailer.
Darren Boyd, manager of the Coast Wholesale Appliances store along furniture row, took on the odorous endeavour of washing local teams' jerseys two months ago — a job he knows normally falls to parent volunteers.
Considering jerseys are expensive and require care to last, Boyd looked around at the cleaning machines in his showroom and a light bulb went on.
First, he put the word out to the organization with which he's involved, Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey, offering its teams free jersey cleanings. Maytag had already come on board, donating a Maxima 9000 series combo with steam washing and drying capabilities.
Soon, other minor hockey coaches caught wind of the free service, so Boyd decided to extend the offer to all minor sports associations in the Lower Mainland.
"And the floodgates opened," said Boyd, standing next to the quiet workhorse in the Maytag lineup of washers — with piles of colourful jerseys stacked on top of it.
Suddenly, soccer teams started coming out of the woodwork. One soccer association even put Wholesale Appliances' offer to the test, saying they had 1,400 jerseys waiting to be washed if the store was game.
"I wasn't going to say no," said Boyd.
The Maxima washing machine and dryer have been running around the clock at Coast Wholesale, especially now that hockey season is ending. Sales staff sit and fold laundry during their down time and they've learned one machine can hold 63 tyke hockey jerseys or 21 adult ones.
"If only their wives could see them," Boyd said with a smile. "To be honest, all the sales guys have been excited about [washing the jerseys]. It's been a team effort."
Boyd's offer of free jersey washing stands but he asks that teams email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-540-2665 before dropping off their uniforms. Coast Wholesale Appliances is located at 1315 United Blvd. in Coquitlam.