People in Asquith are getting ready for their big night.
A valuable piece of hockey memorabilia will be raffled off Friday in the community, found about half an hour west of Saskatoon on Highway 14.
The event is part of the community’s annual fundraiser in support of the local arena and hockey program.
This year’s fundraiser was thrown into jeopardy back in January when thieves broke into the rink and stole the centrepiece of their raffle — a signed Gordie Howe jersey.
What followed was an outpouring of support from across the country and the U.S, said Jodi Nehring, secretary for the Asquith rink board.
“It’s been quite a journey I guess you would say,” said Nehring, describing the roller coaster of emotions.
Nehring said people from all over offered up cash donations and their own sports memorabilia to keep the fundraiser going, including a local family that replaced the stolen Howe jersey They will be on hand to make tonight’s draw, along with the original jersey’s donor.
“This has gone beyond just fundraising for our rink. It’s touched a real chord in our community. This means a lot tonight to have this draw and the significance of it,” Nehring said.
The extra attention has been a benefit for the community. Nehring said extra donations that came in the wake of the theft will support the arena for years to come.
“From Sidney Crosby to Wendel Clark, we’ve got all kinds of things now and we’re just in the process of figuring out how we are going to best fundraise with the new donated items.”
The story also reached the Howe family in Michigan who donated their own jersey for a future raffle.
The fundraiser at the Asquith rink gets underway at 6 p.m. with a family skate. The draw for the jersey will happen around 7:30 p.m. The event is open to anyone to attend.