A December fundraiser held by the Prince Albert Raiders helped local families get into the spirit of the season while also raising money for one of the city’s preeminent projects.
On Tuesday, the Raiders donated $5,500 to the Rose Garden Hospice. The funds were raised through a Christmas ornament program, where the team sold Raiders ornaments, two for $5. Fans who purchased the ornaments got to write their name on one and enter into a draw to win a TV donated by Canadian Tire. The other ornament would be hung on the tree.
“Most people wanted to take them home, so we didn’t’ get to decorate the tree quite the way we wound up with it,” said Raiders executive director of business operations Cliff Mapes with a laugh, “but it was a great initiative and we’ll carry it on next year I’m sure.”
Mapes said the ornament idea came from business manager Michael Scissons.
“In our efforts to be a good community partner, this is something the community needs,” Mapes said.
“Talking with Malcolm at Canadian Tire and getting some background on what they’re trying to accomplish here, I thought it was a great opportunity for the hockey team to pitch in and help out.”
Mapes said the team is looking at doing it again next year. He added that the hospice story “touched” the entire organization.
“Why we need this in our community, it’s to have end-of-life care close to home for people. If we can help in any way to help these families going through these tough times and get this place built, I’m a happy guy,” he said.
Hospice board member Ralph Boychuk was on hand to accept the donation.
“We’re certainly appreciative of (The Raiders’) notoriety in the community. It just brings another level of support,” he said.
“They’ve been good corporate citizens throughout the community. To have them involved with our group is just tremendously positive.”
Having the Raiders get involved is an example of how many sectors of the local community are participating, from sports teams to service clubs to schools to businesses and individuals.
“It’s wonderful to see the engagement …. in this community to support a worthwhile cause like the Rose Garden Hospice,” Boychuk said.
“We’re (at) about $1.7 million right now. We’re really encouraged by the people who are getting involved. This is another great amount from the Raiders we’re simply happy about.”
Boychuk said some other announcements are in the works as the hospice looks to break ground in the spring.
“(We) certainly have some exciting things coming up or sure,” he said. “We’re going to be pushing to get … done by the spring.”