Neepawa Natives pleased with results from "Drive for 500"


By Eoin Devereux

There was a call to action from the Neepawa Natives earlier this year and the community responded in a big way. The MJHL club handed out 303 season ticket passes to fans on Monday evening at the Yellowhead Centre, as part of its “Drive for 500” campaign.

 The initiative offered Natives season tickets at a flat rate of $150 each. It was organized by a group of local businesses and fans, who decided to act when it was announced in the spring that the future of the community owned team was in doubt.

Pat Guilbert helped to spearhead the season ticket campaign and was handing out the passes to eager fans. He said there were a fair number of people around the community that were excited about doing something to ensure the team remained viable.

“There was a bunch of us that, just as a committee of 15 people that took [the season ticket drive] over to revive it and get the passes up and get more people in the stands,” said Guilbert. “We all wanted to help the hockey club as it is an important part of the community.”

Guilbert added it’s also wonderful to see a new level enthusiasm among the fan base as we begin the 2014/15 MJHL season.

“It’s around 303 passes sold that we are looking at right now and there are still some odds and ends that are coming in and a few people looking to buy flex packs and that kind of stuff, so it is pretty good,” added Guilbert

Neepawa Natives coach Dwayne Kirkup as well as several players from the team were on hand to speak with fans during the ticket handout. Kirkup said many people promised to support the team during the “Survive and Thrive” meeting in April and have delivered on that pledge.

Although the promotion is over, season tickets are still available to purchase for $225. The regular season for the Neepawa Natives begins on Sept 19 at the Yellowhead Centre against the OCN Blizzard.