A fundraiser to help with a local group’s purchase of the Adirondack Thunder hockey team in Glens Falls on June 2 raised $25,800, officials said.
The money raised pushed the total funds raised for the Keep Hockey Here campaign through donations, events and pledges past the halfway mark of its overall goal.
The fundraiser, called Raise the Rink, had 320 attendees inside Heritage Hall at the Glens Falls Civic Center. It consisted of a series of live, silent and raffle auctions.
Officials said the highest selling item was four front row tickets to a Boston Red Sox game, combined with dinner for four inside Fenway Park and overnight accommodations just outside of Boston. The winning bid, coming from Dr. John O’Connor, came in at $2,600, more than twice the value of the package.
“The Raise The Rink event was one of the most successful Keep Hockey Here efforts we’ve seen yet,” Adirondack Civic Center Coalition President Dan Burke said. “We are consistently blown away by the support we receive from our local community and are extremely excited to surpass the halfway mark of our donation goal,” said Burke. “I’d like to personally thank everyone who came out and we look forward to continuing our fundraising efforts this summer because this is truly our team.”
The Coalition is the group purchasing the team.
Meanwhile, team and Civic Center officials thanked the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League for two seasons of ownership and affiliation. The Coalition is working on a new NHL affiliation.
“On behalf of the Thunder organization, we’d like to thank the Flames for two great seasons of ownership and affiliation,” Adirondack Thunder Head Coach Cail MacLean said. “Calgary management helped us to build a strong foundation to the franchise and we are excited to build upon our success with a new NHL affiliation, which we expect to announce in the coming weeks.”
“Calgary provided us with a seamless ownership transition to our local coalition and we thank them for making the process quick and easy,” Glens Falls Civic Center General Manager Jeff Mead said. “Over the past few months, we have been in contact with NHL teams and are close to announcing a new affiliation. We look forward to making year three of Adirondack Thunder hockey the best yet both on and off the ice.”
The coalition launched the Keep Hockey Here fundraising campaign on Feb. 28, the date it agreed to purchase the Adirondack Thunder from Calgary Sports & Entertainment.
The campaign is designed to solicit the additional funds necessary for a successful team ownership and the coalition has set a $1 million campaign goal, including contributions from coalition members.
Fans can make an online donation to help “Keep Hockey Here” by visiting glensfallscc.com and clicking the “support” button.
Other high-ticket items at the fundraiser event included autographed jerseys of NHL superstars Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lundqvist and more, with several jerseys receiving bids of greater than $500. A patio furniture set from Telescope Furniture, team signed gear from the Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings, as well as several raffle items rounded out the incredible prize selection.
“We’re extremely thankful to everyone in our community that supported us by donating and collecting raffle prizes for our event,” said Mead said. “Special thanks goes out to Dave Strader, who secured us many of our NHL jerseys, Rob and Lindsay Merrill, who provided us with the Boston Red Sox package and Marc Monahan, who chaired our event committee.”
The Adirondack Civic Center Coalition is a nonprofit group of local business and community volunteer leaders who manage the Glens Falls Civic Center. In April 2015, the coalition entered into a lease-purchase agreement with the city of Glens Falls to take control of the building. The coalition aims to preserve the Civic Center as a premier venue for sports and entertainment in the Adirondack region.