By Mike Stackhouse
Hard to envision the Melfort Mustangs and not also think of Ken Campbell Sales, one of their best long time corporate sponsors.
In fact Ken and Grace Campbell have been involved with the team before there was even a team. Their daughter, Kendra, who also has been extremely active with the club, says, “ There was a lot of interest and a very exciting team. We were not a ‘hockey’ family, but saw this as a chance to add something to the community where we have always lived.”
Kendra says, “Advertising with the Mustangs is a great way to reach over a thousand people at a time in the arena. We also consider it more community service as we take pride in seeing our name on the boards and on our favorite player’s jersey. Teams rely on sponsors for a large portion of their budget, so this is a good way to help the organization and keep the business name in the public eye all at the same time.”
Kendra admits she was an unlikely long-time board member. “Being on the Mustang Board was not something I considered. I had returned to the Melfort area to live and started going to hockey games when Dale Frier called and asked if I would become a Director. Dale was very hard to say ‘no’ to. In hindsight, it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I served for eleven years and worked very hard at it and enjoyed it. There is great satisfaction in volunteering, but perhaps more important were the relationships established along the way. We have made great friends, received new customers, have had lasting ties with players, parents, and coaches.”
“I think as a board, we accomplished a lot. The Mustang Education Saving Plan for players was established, and we also had some really fun and successful fundraisers. This may sound strange, but one of our best accomplishments was, with cooperation from The City of Melfort, introducing the sale of alcohol at the Palace. There were many obstacles to overcome but it has turned into an ongoing fundraiser, more profitable than we could have dreamed. It has also turned SJHL home games at the Palace into ‘go to’ social outings,” said Campbell.
Ken & Grace have also served as billets over the years, and Ken Campbell Sales has been an ongoing employer of Melfort Mustang players. “We try to hire one every year, as an auto detailer. It has been a great way to really get to know a player.”
Ken & Grace’s favorite player of all time was Jason Duda. He didn’t live with them but spent a lot of time and had many meals in their home. They met up with him recently in Arizona when he was there with the Wichita Thunder.
“We couldn’t begin to add up the dollars spent or volunteer hours over the past 30 years, but we wouldn’t change a thing. For us, it’s money and time well spent.”