Ask any Minnesota School of Business-Elk River (MSB) student or employee to name a recent big event in town and they’ll shout, “Hockey Day Minnesota!” The city was fortunate to host the 2014 Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday, January 18th. The festivities took place at the historic Handke Pit and the Elk River Arena. The city hosted many teams, athletes, parents and supporters from from across the state.
Not only was this event a great opportunity for the community, but also for MSB-Elk River and our students. MSB-Elk River was proud to sponsor the event and show our support for the athletes that participated. We were also able to bring students on board to help in making the event a success.
Business management program students, Allisa Alleman and David Harvey, representing both MSB as well as MSB-Elk River DECA, were contacted by Jennifer Wagner, the Hockey Day marketing committee co-chair, to assist at the event. Wagner has been involved with MSB-Elk River in various ways including being a class and graduation speaker, Program Advisory Council member, intern supervisor, and overall supporter and advocate for the campus and its students.
The event received an enormous amount of media attention as well through Fox Sports North which was a huge part of the festivities. This was a tremendous opportunity for the Elk River community to showcase all of the things that make the town such a great place to live, work and go to school.
According to Wagner, “Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 was an amazing success for the community of Elk River. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The fresh coating of snow added to the ‘Norman Rockwell’ feel of the day. Approximately 4,000 fans converged upon Handke Pit to experience the eighth annual event, which many media outlets, referred to the Pit as ‘Hockey Heaven.’”
When asked about the assistance received from volunteers, Wagner shared, “The event would not have been possible without the countless hours of work put in by hundreds of volunteers. Working with the faculty and students at MSB proved to be a beneficial partnership from the start. The student volunteers were selfless and willing of to do what was asked of them, and that work ethic did not go unnoticed. January 18 proved to be a day that was more than just about hockey. It showed that big results are produced by setting goals, involving a community and working hard!”
Alleman, an Elk River native, reminisced about Handke Pit. “Once winter came around, everyone went down to the pit to play some hockey or go sledding down the big hill. It’s a place where everyone made memories,” Alleman said.
Alleman was able to volunteer at the event supporting Wagner and other steering committee members in a variety of ways.
“I was so fortunate to be a part of one of the biggest community events, and to work with many familiar faces,” Alleman said. Highlights of her day included watching the boys play their hearts out on the ice, escorting the governor around, and making networking connections with Fox Sports North.
Harvey’s experience was quite different from Alleman’s. He was able to help out on the front end with set-up at the Pit on Friday. “I was happy to help with the set up for Hockey Day Minnesota. Being from the area and spending a lot of time down in the Pit, the opportunity to volunteer my time and be a part of something so cool really meant a lot to me,” explained Harvey.
This event will forever be remembered by community members, participants, and volunteers. It brought new life and new memories to a well-known city landmark. Our campus and students are proud to have been a part of a new page of Elk River’s history.