Drake, Sask. was not really named after the Canadian rapper of the same name.
That was my opening joke during a sports banquet on the weekend in the village. The 230 people in attendance – 33 more than Drake’s official population – were polite enough to laugh. Then they got down to the fun business of raising funds and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Drake Sportsplex, which was fully and solely financed by the generosity of a community.
I lost track when the auctions surpassed $30,000. Signed jerseys from Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Carey Price and Morgan Reilly. Autographed gloves from Wayne Gretzy and a bat signed by Kevin Pillar. A chainsaw. A homemade trunk. Tickets to events. Fully dressed meats. Spruce trees, crushed rock, grain drying and canola seed.
All were donated. The meal was outstanding. The company even better. Former NHLer Kelly Chase, a native of Porcupine Plain, spoke passionately about his career and his home province.
There couldn’t have been a better place to be.