At today's Huskie Off the Leash Luncheon, the U of S announced that Wright Construction and the Wright family have contributed a $1-million gift in support of the Home Ice Campaign. The campaign seeks to raise $7-million to complete funding to build Merlis Belsher Place.
Lorne Wright (BComm'81), a U of S commerce graduate and the president of Wright Construction Western Inc., said his business and his family are both proud to help out with the project."I've always had a fondness for the Huskies—it dates back to my time at university," said Wright, who has been a strong supporter of scholarship programs for Huskie athletes. "It became apparent that this is a very important facility to our community and to our university and we wanted to make a commitment to it."
Peter Stoicheff noted that the university is also pleased to partner with Wright Construction to build the new facility. He said the Wright family has been working to improve campus for decades. "Wright Construction and the University of Saskatchewan have a long association going back to when Lorne's grandfather—Sam Wright—built the first buildings on our campus more than 100 years ago. Since then, Wright Construction has been seen regularly on our campus. We are so pleased that Wright Construction and the Wright family are committed to improving our facilities, for student athletes and our community, with this generous donation."
President of Wright Construction, Lorne Wright (middle, fifth from left next to hockey legend Lanny McDonald) with supporters of the Off the Leash Luncheon. Wright Construction and the Wright family announced a donation of $1-million to the Home Ice Campaign at the event.
Wright Construction and the Wright family—wife Lynne and siblings Jack, Don and Nancy—have been donating to the university and to Huskie Athletics since 2004. They have supported the Huskies Off the Leash Luncheon from its beginnings in 2009 as its title sponsor, because it funds scholarships for Huskie hockey players. The Wrights have also established numerous scholarship awards over the years, to support Huskie hockey and basketball athletes.
The donation from Wright Construction and Wright family will provide a significant boost to the campaign to raise funds for the $41-million complex. It will replace the aging Rutherford Rink, which was built in 1929.
"Although it's been heroic, Rutherford is no longer appropriate for a university of our calibre, as a public facility. It needs to be replaced for the enjoyment of the students and the public as well," Wright said. He noted his excitement that the university will be reserving a significant number of hours for the use of community hockey programming. "What I thought really took the project up a notch was the plan to build a second rink and bring the community in. The agreement with the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association is so important, as their programs continue to grow."