Thursday, 21 June 2018 06:51

Partnership raises funds for health care and baseball

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The Riverside Electric team won the 2018 NHL Playoff Black Tie Hockey Draft. They received a cheque of $7,500 and the Crescent Point Energy cup during a pre-game ceremony at the Swift Current 57's game against Melville, June 15. The Riverside Electric team won the 2018 NHL Playoff Black Tie Hockey Draft. They received a cheque of $7,500 and the Crescent Point Energy cup during a pre-game ceremony at the Swift Current 57's game against Melville, June 15.

A fundraising partnership is providing benefits to health care and baseball in southwest Saskatchewan.


The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation and the Field of Dreams committee, which raises funds for the Swift Current 57's baseball team, have joined forces for a second year to organize the 2018 NHL Playoff Black Tie Hockey Draft.
The winning teams from this year's hockey draft were presented with their prize money before the start of the Swift Current 57's game against the Melville Millionaires, June 15.
The first place team from Riverside Electric received $7,500 and the Crescent Point Energy cup.
The Astro's Cruisers from Central Butte won $3,000 for their second place finish and the Lucky Puckers from MNP ended third and received $1,500. A cheque presentation of $15,000 was also made to the Swift Current 57's.
Clay Thompson, the executive director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, said the partnership with Field of Dreams is working very well.
“It’s a lot of fun to host,” he mentioned. “Our attendance was up year-over-year. We made a little more money this year than we made last year. So by and large a very good event and as I said, probably one of the most fun events that we host on an annual basis and so we’re looking forward to next year. I know a lot of the teams that we’ve talked to since the event have said they’re coming back for another year. So it should be good again next year.”
There were 22 participating teams, each with eight players, in last year's hockey draft and 24 teams in this year's event, which was held at the Living Sky Casino event centre. The gross revenue from the event increased from about $50,000 last year to just over $60,000 in 2018.
After expenses he is expecting the two partners will share about $40,000 that will be split 50/50 between them.
The Healthcare Foundation's portion of about $20,000 will be used to support health care provision in southwest Saskatchewan.
“We’re looking at a pretty significant piece of diagnostic equipment for the Cypress Regional Hospital to help keep our regional hospital strong,” he said.
More information about the type of equipment will be available as soon as the details have been worked out with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
This fundraising partnership to host the hockey draft was the result of some discussions with Brad Woods, the chairperson of the Field of Dreams committee.
“We enjoy sharing some of the opportunity with other groups in town and of course Brad Woods is well known in the baseball circles,” Thompson said. “It helps to share the workload and I think it comes back to a worthy cause too. Baseball is big in the city and it’s encouraging people to be out and about, which from our perspective then serves in the health and wellness part of it too. So it’s sort of a win-win for us as well from that point of view.”
Most of the participating teams in this year's hockey draft were from Swift Current, but there were also teams from Central Butte, Davidson, Gull Lake and Shaunavon. He feels the hockey draft is an opportunity for the Healthcare Foundation to expand its fundraising base.
“In-house we always say that it’s not just a fundraiser, it’s a friendraiser,” he said. “Whenever we can get some people out that maybe haven’t participated in the past or been involved or maybe don’t even know that much about us, it gives us an opportunity to talk to them. We don’t make a sales pitch or anything as part of the draft, but if they see what we’re doing and see what we do with the money that we gather then hopefully we’re creating donors down the road.”
He noted that the success of the event will not be possible without the support of sponsors.
“The event itself without the sponsorship and some of the other games that we run as part of the event doesn’t do quite as well financially,” he said. “So sponsorship is a big part of the event and covers cost and helps us with the profit line.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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