By Jordan Tougas

The Ooks Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams are looking to bring in some extra money near the end of the season.

The NAIT Ooks Hockey Gala is hosted by Ernest’s and aims to raise money for both hockey teams. The Ooks are working through the last few weeks of the season with their eyes set on the provincial tournament.

With a busy season between practices and games, it can be tough to squeeze in time to fundraise.

“It’s very chaotic and hectic. It’s hard for a student-athlete. We have to be careful when planning events during our seasons,” said Shawn Belle, the Associate Head Coach for the Men’s Hockey team. “The athletic board and I feel this is the perfect spot to put the fundraiser, as we are at the end of both our seasons.”

The Ooks Hockey Gala will allow investors, family members, and the general public to meet the players, get autographs and help support the team financially but also
mentally.

“It’s a good segway into the playoffs,” said Belle. “You only have a certain number of bye weekends a season so it gives the guys a chance to restart and to be refreshed going into playoffs.”

One major difference this year is the introduction of a silent auction at the event. The money raised from ticket sales and the silent auction will go to both hockey teams.

“The money is going towards our program enhancement,” said Belle. “ It gives us money for tournaments, travel fees, but also team meals and other bits that help the guys. ”

It can be quite expensive to play hockey, especially when teams take trips to play in tournaments elsewhere in Canada or in the United States.

Tickets for the event can be found at nait.ca/ernests.