The Odessa Jackalopes had a big weekend on the ice, but they had an even bigger weekend off the ice.
The Jackalopes, known for their charitable work within the Permian Basin community for 15 years, helped raise more than $42,000 for Shriners Children’s Hospitals during their three-game homestand this past weekend.
It was the third year in a row Odessa’s hockey team held a “Shriners Weekend” at Ector County Coliseum. Towards the end of the 2009-10 season, the Jackalopes helped raise over $8,000 for the Shriners; last season, it jumped to more than $20,000. But this year, the results went into overdrive.
“Many people put a great deal of work into this weekend, which has come to be our signature weekend of the year,” Jacks GM Joe Clark said. “To raise that amount of money over a three-day period is tremendous. Local members of the El Maida Shrine put many hours into making this the success that it was, and they deserve the majority of the credit. They are good people, and it’s all for the kids.”
Much of the funds were raised via jersey sponsorships, signage sponsorships within the coliseum, a chili & brisket cookoff, and the Jackalopes’ post-game jersey auction following Saturday night’s 3-2 victory over Wichita Falls. The Jackalopes wore specially-designed jerseys that incorporated the Shriners and St. Patrick’s Day for all three games. The auction was topped with the sale of Jacks goaltender Conner Hellebuyck’s jersey, which sold for $4,600.
“We were blown away by the support that the Jackalopes and their fans provided,” said El Maida Shrine member Glenn Bowhay. “This was truly a team effort, and this is a significant amount of money for the kids.”
The funds raised will be headed to the Shriners Children’s Burn Center in Galveston, Texas.
“Our goal to bring to Galveston is $50,000, and we’ll make it,” said Bowhay. “We have several months to go in our fundraising drive, with other events planned. But this is obviously a major step in helping the kids.”