The golf green was peppered with black raider tracksuits and Raider die-hards today, as the 14th annual Prince Albert Raider Golf Classic got off to a tee.
The tee-off is a fundraiser for the Raiders’ Education Fund, raising $5,000 to $8,000 every year.
“This year it is about $7,000,” said Carrie Georgeson, an executive with the Raiders’ community relations.
© Herald photo by KJ Dakin
Jeff Hawkes goes long with a swing at hole number 12. Thirty-three teams of five took over Cooke Municipal Golf Course as part of the 14th Annual Raiders' Golf Classic fundraiser on Wednesday afternoon.
“All our players get a scholarship,” said head coach Steve Young.
“If a player signs with the Raiders for a year, they get a full year of education paid for,” Georgeson said.
Along with about 20 other teams, the Raiders pay into the Western Hockey League’s Education Fund. The funds they raise at events like the Golf Classic go to pay the school fees for Raiders moving on to post-secondary education.
“Last year, in our education fund, we paid about a $100,000,” Georgeson said.
While she said last year was a little higher than usual, the average more commonly is around $80,000.
“That’s why events like this are important,” Georgeson said.
“The organization believes in creating not just professional players but professional people too.”
They raise the other $70,000-$90,000 with Raiders’ game 50/50 draws and regular fundraisers throughout the year.
“There’s 33 teams of five,” said Georgeson, totalling 165 Raider players, friends, family and supporters on the green.
Anyone is welcome to come out for the event, but it tends to attract their most ardent supporters, she said.
“We get a good showing from our corporate supporters and our season ticket holders,” Georgeson said.
“Each team has a Raider on it,” said Young from his perch by hole 12, where he and assistant coach Tim Leonard stood their ground, challenging the teams to a tee as they came through.
Even potential Raiders made it out to the event. Matteo Gennaro, 15, is from St. Albert, A.B. where he plays for his Midget AAA team.
He said, he came out for rookie training and the experience.
“As I’m only 15, I can’t qualify for the Raiders,” he said.
He will, however be playing the preseason game on Friday and hopes to qualify for the team next year.