It’s a huge hit for a small town hockey rink.
An autographed Gordie Howe jersey, which was set to be raffled off as part of an annual fundraiser, has been stolen from the rink it was supposed to raise money for.
The jersey was taken from the arena in Asquith, around 40 kilometres west of Saskatoon, during a break-in sometime over the weekend.
Jody Nehring with the Asquith community sports centre said Tuesday the theft has been particularly hard on kids who use the rink.
“There were a lot of tears shed. They’re devastated. They don’t understand it,” Nehring said. “For them, it could mean the difference between them playing hockey next year.”
Nehring said the community has had its challenges in keeping the program going, and the annual fundraiser plays a big role in keeping the doors open. She believes the jersey was specifically targeted by the thief.
“We had it up on display, to show everybody when we’re selling [raffle] tickets and we’d put it in our back room and locked it up,” Nehring said.
The jersey had been donated by someone who was related to the Howe family.
Howe died June 10, 2016 at the age of 88.
– With files from David Kirton and Chris Carr.