Timberjaks donate $2,500 to Ronald McDonald House

Jason Kerr/Daily Herald Members of the Prince Albert Timberjaks present a $2,500 donation from Rally Mazda, represented by product specialist Jasen Bellamy, to Tammy Forrester, the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Saskatchewan.

The Ronald McDonald House received a $2,500 donation from the Prince Albert Timberjaks and Rally Mazda during a presentation on Tuesday.

Timberjaks team governor Ken Malenfant says Rally Mazda wanted to donate to a local cause, and asked the Timberjaks to make the selection. Malenfant says the club chose the Ronald McDonald House because of the services they provide to young families in need.

“It’s very important. The one in Saskatoon services the Saskatoon hospitals. If you have a sick child or they’re in the hospital or in and out of the hospital, you can stay at the house while using the hospital services. For $10 a night, you can stay at the Ronald McDonald House versus $110 or $210 right at hotels today. Being involved with the hockey team, we thought it was a great way to give back. The community is important to us as well. They support us, so we have to give back.”

Malenfant adds that there were other charities in consideration, but after a team discussion, they chose the new Ronald McDonald house that will be built in Prince Albert.

“There’s a new house being built starting in 2024 in Prince Albert here. It’s the first house in Prince Albert. We talked to the kids a little bit (about) what’s current in our community that we might want to give to. We threw a couple ideas out, and this is the one that kind of came to the top, so we decided to go ahead and donate the funds to Ronald McDonald house.”

Tammy Forrester, the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Saskatchewan, says the organization is ecstatic to see both the Timberjaks and Rally Mazda come together to support the charity.

“For us, it is a lot about partnerships, and we’ve been in this community for a while with our family room in the Victoria hospital. But knowing that we’re going to be building a house in this community and supporting lots of the people that are traveling into Prince Albert, seeing these young guys in partnership with a business here, it just sort of speaks to the future of philanthropy and support to community. It’s a pretty big deal and we’re really happy about this.”

The Prince Albert Ronald McDonald House is hoping to open sometime in 2026. Forrester says they want to make sure the new facility will be efficient.

“We’re at the architect stage, getting a design and getting the house layout and what it’s going to look like and how we’re going to serve families the best we can. That’s where we’re at with regards to the construction side.”

Malenfant adds that the donation helps show the current players of the Timberjaks what it means to be involved in the community, something he learned during his days as a junior hockey player with the Melfort Mustangs.

“We learned that at a young age as well, like these guys,” he says. “When I went to Melfort, it was important. Our coach was Mark Odnokon back then, and he had us out in the community. At that time, you really didn’t understand exactly what you were doing and why you had to do these things, but as you grow a little older and wiser, you start to realize how important those community involvements were for your future days in being involved in a successful and a healthy community.”

-with files from Jason Kerr/Daily Herald