The Weyburn Red Wings and Humboldt Broncos faced off at Crescent Point Place on the night of November 21st, resulting in a fiery match and a tough 6-8 loss for the home team. However, all in attendance would be quick to agree that the pre-game spotlight featuring a generous donation to The Family Place was worth the price of admission. The Red Wings presented a cheque to Executive Director Dawn Gutzke following their recently conducted Jersey Auction Fundraiser, gifting $14,235.78 to the non-profit organization. Gutzke said that she was simply overwhelmed by the welcome surprise.
"We are so thankful, and we feel so blessed to have that money. It's going to go to good use here at The Family Place, helping us out with our programming and some building costs that we've recently had. We are just so appreciative of that. Thank you to the Red Wings Organization for supporting The Family Place all throughout the year!"
The jerseys sold in the auction featured the classic white and red color scheme along with an iconic collage of rainbow handprints reminiscent of those previously found on the walls of the long-time home of The Family Place on 4th St.. Gutzke shared that the idea to collaborate was brought to her by the Head Coach for the Red Wings, Cody Mapes.
"He phoned me last year, actually, so he's been working on this for quite some time. He asked what I thought about having some custom Family Place jerseys made and auctioning them off for us, and I fell in love with the idea. I'm a hockey mom myself, so anything to do with hockey? We love!"
While the groundwork was handled by the Red Wings, the collaboration was ultimately made possible by Mryglod Steel and Metals Inc. by generously sponsoring the creation of the unique, limited-edition jerseys.
"Huge thanks to Mryglod Steel. They're amazing in the community too, and they covered the entire cost of the jerseys. So that was really, really great. And thanks to everyone who bid on the jerseys, and all the people who bought the jerseys. We just extend a huge thank you for supporting us."
While the sheer amount raised by the fundraiser is enough to earn endless appreciation for all involved, Gutzke said that the effects go much deeper than just the monetary resource. "My staff did not have to do extra volunteering outside of work hours," she explained. "We did nothing but attend the game where the jerseys were auctioned off, and that's huge. I mean, we have to fundraise and work so hard for our money so when it's all done for us, it is an amazing feeling."
Gutzke shared that the donation is all the more welcome as The Family Place enters its first winter at their new location. While grant funding may cover many of the expenditures for the organization, they anticipate new costs, such as snow removal, that can create gaps in the budget. She said that this donation will be crucial in filling those gaps and adding extra room to provide the best community services possible.
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