The Portage Terriers held a Winnipeg Jets Alumni event to raise money for some great charitable causes this past November. Cody Buhler is the Portage Terriers marketing director and says several former Winnipeg Jets and NHL players were there, as well as some NHL alumni from the area.
"We played a charity game on the Thursday and then we had a nice charity banquet," explains Buhler. "We were raising money for the Terriers, the Rotary Club of Portage, and Central Plains Cancer Services. We played a charity hockey game on November 9th against Terrier Alumni. And then on November 10th, the Jets Alumni were our guest speakers and we had a banquet here at Stride Place."
Buhler says they raised a total of $35.800 for these three organizations and they're extremely happy with how the overall fundraiser went.
"The Winnipeg Jets were really nice to work with, and it was fun for us getting to meet some of these players," notes Buhler. "It was great bringing them to the community where they got to interact with students. They got to interact with fans and a lot of people here in the community. We just thought both days -- both the charity game and having fun out on the ice, and then the banquet the next night -- went really well."
He notes some of the big names at the event included Laurie Boschman, and Paul MacLean who played with the original Jets.
"Ray Neufeld was one of the coaches, and Randy Gillen" adds Buhler. "We also had some guys who played on the Jets 2.0. -- guys like Derek Meech and Grant Clitsome. But then we also had some guys who played in the NHL who came out for the charity game. We had Kevin Sawyer who's now a broadcaster with the Jets, and we also had the Jets' former play-by-play voice Dennis Bayak here for both days, as well."
Buhler explains the Portage Rotary Club and the Terriers have put on a couple of events like this in the past.
"They did one with the Boston Bruins in 2017 and one with the Montreal Canadiens prior to that," notes Buhler. "They've done a few of these events now spread out over the years, and it's definitely something that we'll consider doing again, but obviously there's usually a bit of a break between times when you bring in a big team like this."
He adds it was great working with the Rotary Club and Central Plains Cancer Services, and it was quite wonderful to see the community come together.
"We had lots of people out for both the banquet and the game, and, overall, this was a huge success for us," says Buhler.