"Thank you" just doesn't seem like enough after seeing the Coliseum filled to capacity (and quite possibly beyond capacity), but when you're still in awe 24 hours after the fact that's all I've got. Thank yous go out to the fans that came out in full force Saturday night, the volunteers that tried to keep everything organized and functioning smoothly, the players for dealing with the nerves that come from playing on a large stage. The biggest thank yous have to be reserved for those in the corporate community that made this a reality.
It all started with the Save On Foods locations in Prince George coming on board early in the season as corporate supporters of the Prince George Spruce Kings. The sponsorship grew from the sign on the outside of the press box and the official discount supplier of Spruce Kings tickets to the intangible component of passionate event promoter. The highlight of that passion was seen this past weekend with the capacity crowd on hand for the game and truck shootout.
Sponsorships come in many forms and take on different roles within the Spruce Kings organization and as an organization, I can tell you that the Spruce Kings welcome input and ideas from those that want to provide support for the club. There are some sponsors who are quite happy to provide advertising dollars for the display of their business and others who like to contribute with the exchange of goods and services. There are also those that develop a sense of ownership and a deep desire to see the team succeed.
Save On Foods, and Overwaitea before that, have been a part of our community for over 50 years. During that time they have developed deep roots in Prince George and operate with a focus on representing the community they serve. One of the first things they did was to offer a discounted ticket option for Spruce Kings regular season games. The Save On Foods Family Ticket Voucher is available for $20 and provides admission for up to six people to one regular season game. That by itself is huge as it provides a discount of $4 on the walk-up prize of adult tickets, and four more people can still come in on the same voucher.
Save On Foods decided to take their involvement to another level and wanted to have a Save On Foods to recognize their staff. From there the idea started to go viral and led to the truck shootout contest that we saw in the second intermission with two fans getting a chance to win a Dodge Ram SLR 1500 truck from Northland Dodge and the Northland Auto Group. Hub International/Barton's Insurance came on board with the required insurance. Also joining the party was Pepsi, the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group and the Prince George Citizen.
The buzz created around the Save On Foods night is nothing short of awesome and it hasn't been confined within the bowl either. The Spruce Kings have been receiving messages congratulating the team on its attendance numbers and the overall atmosphere from around the BCHL. So why stop there? The management group of the four Save On Foods in Prince George certainly isn't thinking that their work here is done. They are planning something for the final weekend of the regular season and the double header against the Penticton Vees on March 9th and 10th.
Before I close off this post, let me just make it official and thank the management and staff of all four locations of Save On Foods in Prince George. The management team consists of Brian Gandy - Spruceland, David Blackmore - Parkwood Place Downtown, Mike Jakabowski - College Heights and Richard Bullen - Hart Highway. Your passion for the game and commitment to the Spruce Kings is greatly appreciated by all of us!