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Fundraising and community involvement: keys to SJHL franchise success

By Dave Leaderhouse, 12/07/12, 1:45PM CST


Two things are paramount to the success of each and every Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League franchise – in addition to having a solid product on the ice – and that is community involvement and fundraising.

Every one of the 12 teams has to come up with a means of raising money, aside from attendance and advertising, and they also have to attend functions in their respective community to create awareness for the club. The franchises, after all, are ambassadors to their community and are a pulse to those communities throughout the long and cold winters experienced in Saskatchewan.

Following is a brief synopsis of what each team is doing in the community and how they are going about raising funds outside of the rink. This is just an overview as so much more is being done, but it gives the fans from outside of the specified area a glimpse of what is going on. Remember, supporting other teams with their fundraising efforts goes along way in ensuring every team is successful.

BATTLEFORDS NORTH STARS – Entries are being accepted for the 17th annual Jackfish Lake Ice Fishing Derby which is scheduled for Feb. 16, 2013. The entry fee is $65 with more than $200,000 in prizes available to be won. The North Stars also held their first-ever costume party skate on Halloween which allowed fans to skate with their team.

ESTEVAN BRUINS – The Bruins are big supporters of education, reading and promoting a healthy lifestyle and on a number of occurrences attend events to support this effort.

FLIN FLON BOMBERS – The Bombers have an on-going campaign known as Bomber Burst where a $100 donation (tax-deductible receipt available) gets the purchaser into a puzzle that will be completed when $100,000 is accumulated to pay off a past debt.

HUMBOLDT BRONCOS – Cookbooks are on sale for $10 each with recipes being submitted by players, billets and fans.

KINDERSLEY KLIPPERS – The Truck Lotto is presently under way with tickets costing $100 each or three can be bought for $250. The grand prize is a 2013 Kenworth truck or $100,000 cash with the second prize being a 1505 square foot home. The draw date is Jan. 12, 2013, with an early bird prize of a 2012 Jeep Wrangler already being presented to Jim and Violet Torrie from Riverhurst.

LARONGE ICE WOLVES – The club sells tickets on the Cameco progressive 50/50 (currently over $1,600) along with cash calendars and hockey squares.

MELFORT MUSTANGS – It is the silver anniversary of the hockey club and one of the main fundraisers this year is a raffle on a 2013 Ford Mustang. Tickets are $40 each or three for $100 with the draw to be made on Dec. 31, 2012. There is also a bonus 50/50 draw with tickets for that costing $10 each.

MELVILLE MILLIONAIRES – The hockey club is having a toy drive this weekend for the less fortunate in the area with fans asked to bring a gift to the game on Saturday and they will be admitted free of charge. All toys will then be given to the Melville Association of Christian Churches. The Millionaires also held a Harvest Lotto with numerous prizes being awarded including a 50/50 purse of more than $31,000.

NIPAWIN HAWKS – After holding a successful Fish Test earlier this season, the Hawks now have a Cash Super Lotto in motion with a maximum of 8,343 tickets available. The prize is $2,000/week for a year or 35 per cent of the gross sales.

WEYBURN RED WINGS – A hospital jersey auction raised over $20,000 and there is the upcoming Tommy Huston Classic that will pit the Red Wings against the Estevan Bruins in support of the late long-time volunteer for the organization. The Red Wings also have the Cenovus Energy Reading Program that has players going to schools to read books and leave them with the classroom as part of the program.

YORKTON TERRIERS – The Terriers have a Challenge-R Series promotion event where fans attending the six games between Yorkton and Melville can enter a draw to win a 1972 Dodge Challenger. Just the purchase of a game ticket gets fans into the draw. Also, during harvest, the Terriers had a Seed to Score fundraiser where 200 acres of canola was harvested by a group of volunteers with all proceeds going to the team.

As mentioned, these are just some of the many ideas SJHL teams raise funds and awareness. There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes so remember to support the teams – they depend on it.