On Saturday evening, April 29 Stettler Minor Football transformed the community hall into a Las Vegas-themed space, replete with poker tables and casino machines.
And all the efforts that the organization put in did pay off as community members came from Stettler and beyond to support their fundraising cause.
That evening alone, $5,000 was raised after expenses with another huge amount being collectively donated leading to enough funds for 28 new five-star speed adult helmets.
There were around 130 people who attended the event and enjoyed a meal of roast beef catered by Teresa’s, with a midnight lunch served around 11 p.m. for all those who were still around.
“We had some incredible volunteers who helped us to set up,” said Desmond Ansorger, president of Stettler Minor Football. “Our past success has come from the kids and the coaches and we are going to build on it by keeping great coaching staff and by having a great bunch of players that want to learn and grow and enjoy football.”
Ansorger said that his team’s passion is to make the sport safer for the players.
“We are trying to see how we can minimize concussions, so our next logical step will be utilizing technology and getting shock boxes so that we can track how hard different kids are getting hit and how often.”
According to Ansorger, with the great community support they have received so far, it might be a reality sooner than later.
Tricia Wagner, events director of Stettler Minor Football said that the gala event was very important not only for the fundraising aspect, but it was also a reflection and celebration of the association being a part of the community for 15 years.
Wagner’s son, Deacon Barclay joined the Atom Bobcats last year and as a mother and nurse, Wagner wanted to be more hands-on, which led her to sign up for being the trainer for the team.
“As a trainer, I saw first-hand the time and effort put in by all the coaches to make sure our children are taught safe contact, all players had the SCAT concussion tests done and they made sure every child on the field was treated with respect and was having fun,” Wagner said. “The coaches would say ‘we may have lost but did you have fun, because that’s what matters most.’”
The equipment manager for the organization, Kevin Shuckburgh was pleased with the community support.
“I’m very happy with the funds raised to support our ‘put a lid on a kid’ program and the generosity of our local business owners as well as individuals who continue to push us closer to our goal of putting five-star rated helmets on our players’ heads,” Shuckburgh commented. “With spring camp quickly approaching it’s time for us to switch our focus back to getting out on the field and teaching the game to our kids.”