SHELBURNE – Just over $30,000 was raised towards the purchase of a new Zamboni for the Shelburne County Arena at the Hockey Night in Shelburne fundraiser on March 17 that packed the stands with fans and brought together on the ice some of the top hockey players from the county spanning several generations.
Local dignitaries including South Shore-St. Margaret’s MP Bernadette Jordan, Nova Scotia Minister of Justice Mark Furey, MLAs Chris d’Entremont and Kim Masland, Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall and Shelburne Municipal Warden Penny Smith were on hand during the opening ceremonies to make presentations to community members that have made considerable contributions to the success of Shelburne County Arena over the years, with recognition given to Wayne King, Brud Goulden, Don Bennicke, Anthony Gosbee, Wes Deschamp, Edgar Allison, Percy Cox and Marilyn Johnston.
It was also announced the names of community members that have made contributions to the arena over the years will be engraved on a plaque to hang in the arena, including Tony Mahaney, Lou and Eileen Hardwick, Peggy Norman, Ed Kiley, Bill Guye, Tony Huskilson, Footie Deschamp, Angela Dexter, Danny Bennicke, Andrew Holland, Jerry Locke, Gary Black, Kyle Patterson, Lawrence West, Don Archer and Bill Williams.
Lead organizer of the event, Jennie Huskilson, said the fundraiser “absolutely exceeded” her expectations.
“My first goal was $5,000, then I knew we had that so I thought maybe $10,000 then that night I thought maybe we’d end up around $25,000 maximum. I’m so, so happy to be proven wrong,” she said. “The game sponsors brought in approximately $10,000 alone, there was a little over $6,000 at the door, there was an anonymous $5,000 donation, and the small fundraisers all added up big. Most winners donated their prizes back.”
The Shelburne County Minor Hockey Association including several teams donated a total of
$3,500 to the cause. Huskilson said the total raised was $30,110.
The fundraiser “far surpassed everybody’s expectations,” said Emily Tipton, president of the Shelburne County Arena Association. “Jennie wanted to organize it and she did an amazing job. We’re so much further ahead that where we expected to be at this point in time. We were really humbled by the support of the community. It was great to see all the people in the arena. The support was really incredible I think.”
The Hockey Night in Shelburne fundraiser has catapulted the fundraising campaign to replace the 34-year-old Zamboni to just over one-third of the way to the $115,000 goal. Tipton said the association is in the process of completing funding applications for support hopefully from the provincial and federal governments as well as local municipal units.
“I think what will happen from here is to see how much support we can get that way and look to pick up the fundraising later on in the spring once we’ve got that step complete,” she said.
The association has also raised just over $7,000 through their Facebook campaign, which is on-going.