There’s not a lot for kids to do in the small town of Asquith in the dead of winter.
So when the future of the local hockey rink was recently thrown into jeopardy, people took it to heart.
“A lot of people are angry, ’How dare they? They need to catch the little so-and-so’… they’re really hurt,” said Asquith Mayor Gail Erhart.
Resident T.J. Kline expressed his frustration from the check-out counter at the local Co-op store.
“It was given for a good cause and someone took it for their own personal gain. That’s just wrong.”
A Gordie Howe jersey donated by a relative of the late hockey legend last year was set to be raffled off this March for the Asquith arena.
The money raised would help with some much-needed maintenance, including keeping the boards intact and the lights on.
Candace Dirkzwager, whose son uses the rink, was the first to realize the valuable sweater was gone, allegedly stolen during a break-in over the weekend.
“My heart sunk, I started to shake,” Dirkzwager said. She made some frantic phone calls, including one to the RCMP.
There is a silver lining – people across the country have been calling the Asquith town office, some even offering to donate cash.
Others have offered to donate their own memorabilia — including a signed Sidney Crosby jersey – saying it’s more important that kids have a place to play hockey, than a having memento in their basement.