The Fort Frances Jr. Sabres’ soon-to-be booster club held its first informal meeting Monday night in the common room at Flinder’s Place, with club member Larry Patrick saying the response from the community was well-received.
“We had an enthusiastic group of people out, and each of us is going to try to bring one more person to the next meeting,” Patrick noted. “We’re going to have a nice strong core of a booster club membership.”
That next meeting is set for Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. back at Flinder’s Place.
Patrick said they worked out a lot of the groundwork on Monday and hope to pick up where they left off at the next meeting.
“We talked a lot about the process of registering a booster club as a non-profit, charitable organization,” he explained. “It might be a daunting task, but we are going to try it.”
The Sabres hope to improve the off-ice entertainment value at the Ice for Kids Arena on game nights, with activities between periods similar to what the Winnipeg Goldeyes do on the baseball diamond at their home games.
“The problem we were facing before this is we didn’t have a broad enough volunteer base to do it all,” Patrick admitted. “By formulizing a booster club, we get more people involved and can do more things.”
The club also discussed ways of increasing revenue for the hockey club in order to keep it sustainable in the community for years to come. Patrick noted ice rental fees, travel, billets, equipment, and staff salaries all factor in to the expense of running a Junior ‘A’ hockey team.
“The people there [Monday] night want to see things succeed for the Sabres,” Patrick enthused. “They all think it’s a good thing for the community and a form of entertainment for a lot of people.
“It certainly generates revenue for the town, there’s no argument about that, and if we didn’t have the junior team, some of these kids after Muskie hockey wouldn’t have anywhere to go to keep playing in hockey, so the meeting overall was really positive,” he added.