Wildcats Raise Over $36,000 For Children’s Miracle Network
January 21, 2015
By Ben Horner, Wichita Falls Wildcats
In what has become one of the organization’s signature events, the NAHL's Wichita Falls Wildcats raised $36,007 for Children’s Miracle Network at United Regional Health Care System through the annual “Jersey Off Our Back” fundraiser, held Jan. 17 at the Kay Yeager Coliseum.
“We were thrilled with the success of this year’s ‘Jersey Off Our Back’ Night,” Wildcats part-owner Roy Davoult said. “It was great to see the players really get into the spirit of the event, and even better to see that energy turn into more money raised for Children’s Miracle Network. We look forward to another great event next year, and I know I speak for everyone within our organization when I say ‘thank you’ to our fans and the community for their support.”
This year’s total of $36,007 represents an increase of over $5,000 from last year’s mark of $30,556, with half of the jerseys auctioning for upwards of $1,000 after the game on Jan. 17. First-year head coach John LaFontaine’s jersey garnered the highest bid, auctioning for $2,000.
“It was a joy to work with the Wildcats players and staff on this event,” said Amber Gee, Children’s Miracle Network Specialist at United Regional. “From the first tour of Pediatrics in November to the last part of the auction on Saturday, it was clear the players were excited to be involved, and that excitement helped make this year’s auction a huge success.”
Traditionally, the post-game “Jersey Off Our Back” auction had taken place on the ice. However, this year saw the Wildcats bring changes to the auction, which Team President and General Manager Paul Baxter thought played a large role in its success.
“Moving the auction to a more intimate setting made a huge difference,” Baxter said. “Thanks to the hard work of Amber Gee and her staff, our auctioneer Tobin McDuff and emcee Rick Hatcher, and our staff and the staff at the KYC, we were able to create a more festive atmosphere for an event that is supposed to be fun for all involved. We believe that translated into more proceeds being raised for Children’s Miracle Network at United Regional.”
Founded in 1983, Children’s Miracle Network has raised more than $5 billion for 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada. United Regional has been a Children’s Miracle Network hospital since 1988. Through the work of Children’s Miracle Network, children in need of special care are able to receive life-saving treatment without having to endure long travel. Last year, over 19,000 area children received treatment at United Regional thanks to Children’s Miracle Network.