Staff members from the House of Lazarus stand with Fredrik Claesson after he finished signing autographs for fans. Standing from left are Jennifer Tenbult, Janet Carkner, Cathy Ashby and Jacob Gagnon, Sitting are Claesson and Kim Merkley. O’Donohue photo
WINCHESTER – The House of Lazarus (HOL) hosted a two-day mega sale of sports merchandise at the Joel Steele Community Centre in Winchester on Nov. 3 and 4. Jennifer Tenbult, Operations Manager with HOL explained that the merchandise was all received as a large donation from one donor beginning in the spring of 2017. Faced with numerous boxes full of sports items, it prompted the idea for a sports sale. Tenbult went on to say that once the idea was formed, HOL wanted to have a primary attraction to ensure as much attendance as possible, so they put the word out that they were looking for a sports celebrity. Fredrik Claesson answered the call. Claesson is a defenseman for the Ottawa Senators. The participation of a Senator proved to be the draw HOL was looking for, as there was a long line to meet and get autographs with Claesson when he arrived on Fri., Nov. 3, at 6 p.m.
Guests of all ages waited patiently for their turn to meet Claesson, and he was kind and friendly with everyone. In addition to the celebrity meet-and-greet, attendees were met with long tables full of discounted sports merchandise from a variety of major league teams including; NHL, NFL, and MLB.
Before leaving, Claesson also made time to meet with the Brockville Braves Atom B House team and the North Dundas Demons Atom B House team that were playing in the arena at the time.
Part of the fundraising will continue for another month with the ‘SENSational raffle’. Tenbult described the prizes as; first prize – a hockey stick signed by the entire Ottawa Senators team; second prize – three tickets to an Ottawa Senators game; and third prize – a basket filled with $500 worth of Senators merchandise. Tickets are $2 each, or three for $5, and are available at the HOL until Dec. 21.
Proceeds from the event will go toward the food bank and HOL outreach programs. In a later press release, HOL said, “merchandise sales alone totalled over $6,100.”