Friday night’s game between the Prince Albert raiders and Regina Pats was way more than just a hockey game. It was an important event to reflect on the life of Matt Swaby.
After the tragedy that took Matt’s life on Nov. 26, the Raiders organization set up a 50/50 for Friday’s game, with the proceeds going to the Swaby family.
“This is a family and a person who grew up in Prince Albert and played hockey in the Western Hockey League,” Raiders business manager Mike Scissons said. “We felt we wanted to do something and obviously our fans responded and they wanted to do something.”
Swaby spent two seasons playing hockey with the Prince Albert Mintos before playing with the Tri-City Americans and Edmonton Oil Kings. Scissons explained the impact he left on the hockey market.
“When a guy grows up and has the character he had, it’s something that we should all strive for,” he said. “I know the Mintos develop great character players and it’s a sad thing. They lost a family member, the WHL lost a family member. An incredible individual lost too young.”
By the third period when the 50/50 was announced, $32,863 had been raised. For Scissons, seeing the community donate how they did was very special.
“Gord and Barb Broda reached out right away. We said we were going to do this, and they reached out immediately when we announced it. Then it was picked up by the community,” Scissons said. “This community cares for its own and that’s something that’s proven day in and day out. Look at what happened with the fundraiser for the Vic. Over $300,000 was raised, and then to come out and donate another $60,000, this city cares. It’s inspiring every day.”
Swaby died on Friday, Nov. 26 in a farming accident. His funeral was held on Friday in Prince Albert.
A Gofundme campaign setup to raise money for his wife Carla and three sons has raised $223,536 as of press time.