The Moose Jaw Warriors and the rest of the Saskatchewan-based teams in the Western Hockey League are teaming up for the Hockey Harvest Lottery to help their player scholarship funds.
The five teams are trying to earn back some lost revenue from a season that won’t start until January and help their players attend post-secondary schooling. It's been challenging times for the Warriors financially in 2020, especially with the cancellation of the alumni golf tournament over the summer.
“It’s trying to turn a negative into a positive,” said James Gallo, director of hockey administration for the Warriors, talking about the lottery. “That alumni golf tournament is huge for the Warriors’ education fund, and that’s a tough hole to fill. Discussions for this started small in late summer, and continued into fall and what feels like winter now. It shows unity among the five teams, trying to come together.”
Gallo talked about the importance of the players' education fund. Funds give players a chance to complete their education goals, and for every season players spend in the Western Hockey League, they will have a year of school paid for if they don’t sign a pro contract.
“I’ve talked to a lot of alumni over the last couple of days… and all of them said this is amazing,” Gallo said. “They thought it was great that these organizations would try something different, and something fun to try and raise money for these education funds.”
Great Western Brewing Company has guaranteed the total jackpot for the 50-50 draw will start at $75,000.
“They’re really supportive of all the teams here in Saskatchewan and with their support, we’re able to jump on and come out of the gates hard,” Gallo said. “$75,000 to start is good, and it’ll get people talking but… as that pot grows, more and more people will start to talk.”
Tickets are one for $20, five for $50, 20 for $100, 150 for $500 or 500 for $1,000. The online progressive jackpot starts next Monday and the grand prize draw will be Dec. 21 in Saskatoon. The early bird deadline is Nov. 27 for a prize package from all WHL teams in the province. That draw takes place Nov. 28.
Information and tickets will be available at whl.ca/hockeyharvestlotto