WINCHESTER – More than $6,100 was generated for the House of Lazarus’ food bank and outreach programs during the “For the Love of the Game” sports merchandise sale Fri., Nov. 3 and Sat., Nov. 4.

Ottawa Senators defenceman Fredrik Claesson also showed up for the event at the Joel Steele Community Centre on Friday evening to sign autographs and greet fans.

Sporting his Sens jersey and a big smile, Claesson was a hit with the crowd as he signed shirts, jerseys, hats, and everything in between, and posed for photos with fans.

The House of Lazarus brought in more than $6,100 for its food bank and outreach programs during the “For the Love of the Game” sports merchandise sale Fri., Nov. 3 and Sat., Nov. 4. Pictured are Kim Merkley (left), Sandy Cassleman, June Lamoureux, Connie Warren, Rilla Seward-McShane, Cathy Ashby, and Ross Bennett. Press Photo – Gosselin

“We are absolutely thrilled by the turnout we had for Claesson on Friday night,” said HOL operations manager Jennifer Tenbult. “The volume of sales we had that night reflected his presence and contribution to our cause. We are very grateful to Claesson, who took the time out of his busy schedule to help us. And the fans were so happy to meet him. He was very nice – many people commented on that – and he clearly cares about giving back to the community.”

Claesson also stuck around after his meet-and-greet to shake hands with two Atom “B” House teams coming off the ice downstairs at the arena. The North Dundas Demons and Brockville Braves were greeted by Claesson as they headed to the change rooms and then posed for team photos with the Sens player.

“It was really nice that Claesson stuck around to say hello to the kids downstairs because we had parents coming upstairs to our event asking if he would still be around when their kids came off the ice,” said Tenbult. “He didn’t have to go that extra mile, but he did, which was wonderful to see.”

Ticket sales for the SENsational raffle also brought in funds for the HOL during the event. Raffle tickets will continue to be sold until the draw date on Thurs., Dec. 21.

First prize for the raffle is a hockey stick Claesson used in an actual game signed by the entire Sens team; second prize is three tickets and a parking pass for the Sens game on Fri., Dec. 29; and third prize is an antique sleigh stuffed with more than $500 worth of brand new Sens merchandise.

Tickets are $2 each and three for $5, and can be purchased at HOL in Mountain. All proceeds from the raffle will also benefit the food bank and outreach programs.

“We sold nearly 300 raffle tickets during the sports sale, which brought in significant funds,” noted Tenbult. “Overall, it was a great event and we want to thank everyone who made it out to support us.”

The brand new trademarked NHL, NFL, MLB and NASCAR merchandise leftover from the sale will be available for purchase at the HOL Boutique and Mountain Treasures (2245 Simms St.).

“If you missed the sale over the weekend, you still have a chance to snag some incredible deals by stopping by our thrift stores,” added Tenbult.