The Norman Northstars were greeted with some bad news at the start of the hockey season, since the midget AAA team found out that they would have to start paying to use the Thompson Regional Community Centre’s Mary Fenske Boardroom to host the alumni association’s beer garden.
While access to this room had previously been included in the game day rate for the C.A. Nesbitt Arena, the team’s new one-year facility rental agreement with the city, which was approved by council Oct. 1, stipulated that the team would have to start paying the normal rental rate for the boardroom.
After abstaining from voting on the agreement since her son is on the team, Coun. Kathy Valentino reached out to past Northstars players to help cover the costs of renting this boardroom for the rest of the season.
Valentino said on Dec. 19 that they achieved this goal rather quickly and raised $1,000 through alumni donations alone.
“So whatever we can total now until the last part of the year will help for next year or for the Northstars board to use to enhance the program in whatever way they see fit,” she said.
Valentino said a nice side-effect of this outreach campaign is how it gave the team a reason to touch base with past players who haven’t been in contact with the organization for a long time.
“Now we’re getting a database of our alumni,” she said Nov. 24. “Because really, 34 years, there’s a lot of players out there.”
Valentino said she’s going to dedicate more time to finalizing this alumni database in 2019.
In the meantime, Northstars alumni president Greg Long encourages any past players to reach out to the current team if they haven’t already.
“If you’ve played one game or if you’ve played 100 games you’re considered an alumni,” he said. “So hopefully all those alumni come out and support the Northstars going forward. Anything they can do, whether it’s a cash donation or they donate their time or give back to the Northstars, it’s great and we welcome that.”
Any Northstars alumni looking to get in touch with the club can contact Long or Valentino at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, respectively.