On Saturday, January 20, the Utica Comets held their second Save of the Day Foundation night during their game against the Syracuse Crunch – a night that became one for the history books, both on and off the ice.
The Comets, donning their popular black and neon green jerseys, hit the ice with some extra spring in their step on Saturday, earning them a 4-2 victory behind 40 saves of Thatcher Demko and a three-point night by Cam Darcy. And while the showing on the ice was undeniably one of the Comets’ best performances at home this season, it was the various fundraising elements and efforts off the ice that helped amass over $90,000 for the Save of the Day Foundation.
The headlining feature of the night – the Save of the Day 15th Anniversary Raffle – gave fans the chance to win over 100 items, many game used, with the purchase of a $20 raffle ticket. The raffle, combined with the 50/50, private donors, suite rentals, OCSLEF t-shirt sales, and Star of the Game postcard sales, totaled over $90,000, a portion of which will be donated back to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Foundation (OCSLEF).
“This year’s Save of the Day Night truly amazed me on all fronts, especially the unwavering support from our fans,” said Comets President Robert Esche. “I couldn’t have imagined a better night to kick off the Foundation’s fifteenth year in existence – a night that wouldn’t have been possible without the outpouring of generosity from our community.”
“Thanks so much to our corporate contacts, Comets family, and our great fans for making our second Save of the Day Night such a success,” added Save of the Day President Kevin Lojewski.
Esche, Lojewski, and the rest of the Save of the Day Foundation board credit the success of the event to a variety of elements, ranging from the popularity of the jerseys to the added value of the suites to the foundation that Save of the Day has built over the past fifteen years. The jerseys, which were the same color palette as last season’s, featured the original shield logo instead of last year’s U, and had subtle added elements such as the merchandise logo and SAVE OF THE DAY FOUNDATION across the lower back.
With any high-profile event, it takes the helping hands of many to tie together the various elements and make it a cohesive and seamless success. For this year’s Save of the Day Foundation Night, the coalesced efforts of the Comets staff, OCSLEF board, Save of the Day Foundation board, and more, all contributed to the facilitation of Saturday’s event. But the hardest workers of the night, players from the Utica Jr. Comets, worked for over two weeks to sell as many raffle tickets as they could. The highest sellers for each team, as well as overall, are:
2003: Nick Deriso
2004: Luke Kurdziolek & Jason Shafer
2005: Waylon Esche
2006: Caleb Massoud & Daniel Obernesser
2007: Gavin Blank
2008: Drew Witchley
Overall 1st Place: Waylon Esche, $2040
Overall 2nd Place: Nolan Hens, $1300
Overall 3rd Place: Garrett Eisenhut, $740
All winners will receive prizes for their hard work and dedication to Save of the Day night.
With the success of Save of the Day Night two years in a row, the Foundation is already anticipating the third annual event and beyond. As Save of the Day moves through their fifteenth year in existence, more exciting things are to come through 2018, all that give back to our community and the people who need it most.