The third annual Shaunavon Badger Sportsman’s Gala was a resounding success on Saturday evening at Christ the King Church Hall.
The colourful Saskatchewan Roughrider legend Bob Poley served as the emcee for the event. The Gala was headlined by Marty McSorley who played in the NHL from 1983-2000. He was a very versatile player and was primarily known as an enforcer. This role earned him the famous nickname of “Wayne Gretzky’s bodyguard.” Marty was involved in one of the biggest trades ever when he and Gretzky were dealt from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. McSorley congratulated the Badgers on their 2013 SHA “B” provincial championship. He said, “A championship at any level takes great dedication and it is something you will always remember.” McSorley mentioned, “I was fortunate enough to play with Gretzky, Messier and Coffey and it turns you into a winner.” He added, “The game has been great to me and success is measured by what you put into it.” Moose Jaw native Scott Schultz was the first speaker of the evening. Schultz was the starting defensive tackle for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for nine seasons. Schultz stated, “The best part of football with the Riders is getting out to various charity events across the province and giving back.” He pointed out that the players just wanted to get to the game despite all the media and hoopla surrounding football. Rider defensive end John Chick was the second speaker and he captured Grey Cups with the Riders in 2007 and 2013. Chick commented, “The Riders are an amazing team and last year was a good example of what happens when everyone works together.” Chick told the crowd, “It is rewarding to see everyone buying into a common goal and a championship is the accumulation of everything you worked for through the years.” The Rider players and McSorley then presented an open forum which included various questions from the audience. In addition to the presentations, there was also a banquet and a live auction with local auctioneer Ralph Oberle. The auction included an assortment of NHL jerseys and sports memorabilia. Some of the items up for auction included a signed Bobby Orr Boston Bruins jersey and NHL allstar jersey, signed Gordie Howe Detroit Red Wings jersey, signed Bobby Hull Chicago Blackhawks jersey, signed Guy Lafleur Montreal Canadiens jersey, signed Darryl Sittler Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, signed Rod Gilbert New York Rangers jersey, signed Mike Modano Dallas Stars jersey, signed John Chick Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey and a jersey signed by Marty McSorley. The Bobby Orr allstar jersey and McSorley’s Edmonton Oilers jersey fetched the highest bids. Both sweaters were sold for $2,200. “Overall, I thought things turned out pretty well,” said Jamie Poppy, who spearheaded the organizing effort. “I thought the speakers were all good – they kept everyone engaged – and we had a good crowd.” “Everybody seemed to have a great time and the feedback was positive from everyone I talked to,” he added. “They were excited about wanting us to do it again next year – so that’s always a good sign.” The live auction was a hit and brought in just under $21,000. A silent auction, meanwhile, generated another $2,275. A special auction was also arranged to have the guest speakers sit at specific tables in the crowd. That fundraiser generated $2,550. In total, all three auction events brought in almost $26,000. The proceeds from the auction were directed to the Badger hockey club. While the auction brought in about $26,000, that total doesn’t represent profits for the club as the evening celebration carries some pretty significant expenses. “It’s always good to make a little money, but it’s also nice to be able to put on an event like this for the community,” said Poppy. Poppy thanked sponsors, volunteer helpers and those who attended the event for their support.