Supporters of the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars held their first annual golf fundraiser June 23 at the Pitcher's Pond Golf Course in Whiteway.
Supporters of the CeeBees had the opportunity to hit the links with some of their favourite players, like Matthew Thomey, Ryan Delaney, Keith Delaney, Daniel and Chris Sparkes, Mark Tobin and Kyle Doucet, in aid of the club as it prepares to enter its season in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.
It may come as no surprise that the CeeBees would put off a day of golf in support of the club. It is a well-known fact that hockey players enjoy hitting the links once the final buzzer has sounded.
The club drew in 16 teams of four for the event, which was two teams under the capacity of 18. The cost to register was $400 per team.
Peter George is the assistant coach with the CeeBees. He said the event went great.
"We had 16 teams show up for our first annual golf tournament, so it was very successful," said George.
The club had a great day to get out and drive some balls around the fairways as the sun was shining and the weather was warm.
George said the talk around the clubhouse was great, concerning the tournament.
"We got all positive feedback about it, and everyone is excited to start the season," said George. "We're getting a lot of support. We're happy about that for sure."
The idea for the golf tournament was conceived in March when CeeBees officials got together to decide on an plan of action surrounding fundraising activities for the club.
"We decided we wanted to put together a couple of more fundraising events and this was one of them," said George.
It is unknown as to the amount of profit.
A renewed focus
The golf classic is evidence of the CeeBees renewed focus on the fundraising aspect of competing in the provincial league.
As it moves into the 2012-2013 season, the team will again run into the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and the Clarenville Caribous, two clubs that operate with huge budgets and are constantly putting off fundraising events to help offset travel costs, etc.
In the past, the Caribous have sold 50-50 tickets during the summer and tickets on a newly-built house.
Barry Manuel, director of hockey operations for the Cataracts, said fundraising makes up a big chunk of the team's budget.
"We always have something on the go and it's huge for us," he said.
It's a play that backers of the CeeBees plan to copy.
"We saw that fundraising is a year-round thing," said George.
Money raised during the events will go into the everyday operation of the team and help alleviate some of the costs put on sponsors.
Plans going forward
George said that the golf classic is not the only big event the CeeBees had planned for the summer.
There are plans to roll out a massive ticket draw later this summer with the grand prize being tickets to the 2013 National Hockey League Winter Classic, being held at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbour, Michigan and will pit Original 6 teams, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs against each other.
The Alumni game will feature past players from both franchises and could include stars like Wendel Clark, Mats Sundin and Nicklas Lidstrom.
Crocker back as head coach
While the new season is still four months away, one big question surrounding the club has been answered.
Corey Crocker will stay on as head coach. Crocker came on board during the second half of the season, replacing Steve Power. Crocker managed to right a sinking ship, and the team managed to snag the fourth and final playoff spot late in the season.
George said Crocker has been making some phone calls to players on behalf of the club and "just keeping everyone in the loop on what's going with the team and the league."
The assistant coach also had great things to say about the possibility of a sixth team entering the league.
"The fact that Gander wants to come in and join the league ... will only strengthen the league down the road," said George.
It was announced late last week that Gander's application for entrance into the league had been granted.