SASKATOON, Sask. – The results are in, and four Saskatchewan hockey initiatives will share more than $300,000 in funding as part of the legacy of the 2017 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf, hosted in Saskatoon last June.
Hockey Canada Foundation executive director Donna Iampieri assembled members of the 2017 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf local host committee, including chair Blair Davidson and legacy committee chair Jonathan Huntington, to make the announcement Thursday.
“The Gala & Golf event is our single largest annual fundraiser, and the Foundation is committed to ensuring that half of the event’s net proceeds remain in the host community, with the other half supporting projects and programming across the country. Saskatoon did an outstanding job with the event in June; I applaud Blair and his group for their tireless work in ensuring this was a success for the city of Saskatoon, the province of Saskatchewan, and for Canadians across the country who will now have an opportunity to experience this great Canadian game,” said Iampieri.
Last February, the Hockey Canada Foundation and representatives from the 2017 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf host committee outlined their legacy plan. On Thursday, special guests were on-hand to accept cheques in the amount of $83,272 for the following:
- The Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) will host cross-ice jamborees for Initiation Program-aged (5- and 6-year-old) boys and girls in 10 northern communities (Pelican Narrows, Montreal Lake, Southend, La Loche, Pinehouse, Turnor Lake, Île-à-La-Crosse, Buffalo Narrows, Patuanak and Stanley Mission) this season. The rink dividers, lightweight pucks, small nets and participant jerseys will remain within the communities;
- The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame will invest in capital upgrades to its iPlex in Swift Current. Since opening in 2011, the Hall of Fame continues to grow in popularity, promoting the game and its rich Saskatchewan history as well as the contributions of the players, teams, coaches, officials and builders who have made hockey great in the province;
- Merlis Belsher Place at the University of Saskatchewan, the new multi-sport facility that will see the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association’s ice-time allocation increase by 1,500 hours each season, will receive $40,000 to go towards ensuring the facility can accommodate sledge hockey, with the remaining $43,088 going towards the overall facility’s construction costs. Philanthropist and U of S graduate Merlis Belsher, for whom the facility – slated for opening in the fall of 2018 – will be named, has committed to match the funds directed to the overall construction to double the financial impact to the project;
- The Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association’s Memorial Cup legacy fund, which is administered by the SMHA and SaskSport to assist families demonstrating financial need with costs associated with team fees, equipment and transportation, for example.
The Hockey Canada Foundation, which unveiled its We Play Hockey for Life tagline at the Saskatoon event in June, has a mandate to grow the game at the grassroots level across the country. The Foundation has raised just under $4 million through its Gala & Golf events alone since 2004.
Visit the Hockey Canada website for more information on the Hockey Canada Foundation, the 2017 Gala & Golf, and the Order of Hockey in Canada.