What a fantastic night! I volunteered to sell tickets for the Edmonton Oilers hockey game 50/50 raffle, on behalf of the Strathcona County Library. I love the Oilers and libraries, so really it was a no brainer - any night in the Rexall Place arena is a good night. Plus, I love going behind the scenes anywhere. Judges elevator? Sure! Loading dock? Count me in? Concrete hallways? You bet! I think maybe I feel privileged: I love going where not many people have gone before.
First, we entered Rexall (third attempt) via the security ramp and signed in. We stood in what can only be described as a "coral" under the seating for about twenty minutes. This was at ice level, we could see a zamboni working on the ice. Timeline of what happened while we were in the coral:
- zamboni gets moved
- Zack Stortini saunters by (please someone cut that boys hair!)
- Dwayne Roloson walks by (seems kinda small for a goalie, must be all the padding?)
- Sam Gagne (like a cute little hobbit) and Robert Nilsson pass by, signing a couple autographs on the way
- TSN guy walks by (you know, that guy...)
- another player stops to sign a few autographs (Gilbert? Brodziak?)
- big garage type door thingy opens, letting in all the cold air
- big bus pulls up
- the entire Tampa Bay Lightning team and staff walk of the bus to their dressing room, only one signing anything on the way
- some guy tries to shut the garage door, but stops...
- Sheldon Souray and Ethan Moreau get out of Souray's truck (parked right by the door) and walk by us (very nice, very nice)
And that short twenty minute wait made the whole night worth it. How very exciting - Oilers in suits!! Up close!!
Anyways, back to business. We were taken up the stairs to a long concrete hallway, told to hang up our coats, put away our purses, and then ushered into a smaller room. We signed up for our numbers (#14 for me), got our oh so stylish 50/50 smocks and our float. Then we waited on the concourse for further instruction. Unfortunately no one told us to shove snacks in our pockets prior to leaving our purses in the other room. Oops. Then this guy told us what we had to do, and what we couldn't do (aka Don't Watch the Game!). We were taken back to the main concourse and shown our spots. My friend (who's from Vancouver and really didn't appreciate the whole 'Oilers up close' thing, but had fun anyways) and I apparently got the 'quiet entrance' but it was still busy enough to keep me occupied for the night.
So, for the next two hours this is what I said: "50/50 Tickets! Strathcona County Library!" And I sold. And sold. And tried to remember my math to make change. And then ran out of change (repetitively). And sold some more. In the end I sold $1230 worth of $2 tickets. Not too shabby for the 'quiet entrance'.
It was fun. Oh so fun. Everyone (staff, fellow volunteers, public) was so friendly, very good natured. I had an excellent time. There's always such a buzz in Rexall on game night (any night really). I didn't get to see much of the game (some though) but heard the cheering and appreciated it nonetheless. And the Oilers won too!
Yes, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I reckon libraries are a good cause of course, and our efforts probably raised $13-15k. A job well done folks. My feet are killing me...