TRENTON – The clouds are starting to break on what was a dreary outlook for the Pictou County Scotians – they will ice a team this September.
In early May the junior B organization announced they must raise $20,000 by Sept. 1 or the club would fold. That deadline was put in place by the board after the club ran a deficit last season.
They have yet to complete their fundraising drive, but they know they’ll be able to reach their goal. As of this week the club is nearing a fundraising total of $16,000.
“It’s been really good, we’re ecstatic about it,” said team governor Walter Smith. “We set our goal of $20,000 by September and I don’t think a lot of people thought we could reach it. In very tough times with job losses at Michelin and Convergys we’ve been able to raise this money. We couldn’t have done it without great community support.”
Possibly their biggest success so far was raising over $4,700 on their Mothers and Father’s Day draws. Their goal was $3,000, which they thought might be a stretch, but Smith said they were extremely pleased with the support shown for both draws.
They’re also going back to the Chase the Ace fundraiser, but will be doing it at Harbour Light Campground in Pictou during the camping season. If a winner hasn’t been drawn by October they will continue it in the community until that happens.
Another initiative they hope to start is a Pictou County wide 50/50 that will take place weekly. On July 7 they will be holding a meeting at the Trenton Rink Annex at 6:30 p.m. They are welcoming any groups, whether they are sports (soccer, baseball, hockey, etc.) or community or community oriented, to come to the meeting to discuss their plan.
The hope with a 50/50 like this is that it will take away from all the individual groups competing against each other, plus it will increase the pot size for the winners.
During this fundraising process they’re also welcoming new board members to the organization. Already they’ve had a few women join the board, something that is a first according to Smith.
“We could probably use four more board members and included in that we want a parent rep,” he said. “We want them to represent the current players, so that will come after the bulk of the team has been selected. We want the parents to know everything, how much money we’re working with, what we’re spending it on and what it takes to run the team.”
Come September there will also be a few other changes as the club moves their game times to 7 p.m. on Sunday, with warm up at 6:30 p.m. The decision came based on feedback from fans on when the games were finishing. They hope with the change they will also draw more youth to their weekly home games.
On the ice the league will be implementing the delay of game penalty for flipping the puck over the glass in the defensive zone, as well as no-change icing.
Smith said the league will also be cracking down on language on the ice as part of a few of the things the NSJHL hopes to improve in the 2014-15 season.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris