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Eastman Raiders Canteen raided Monday night –

The Eastman Raiders Football Club canteen was discovered broken into around 8am Tuesday morning, when city of Steinbach Park staff was mowing the AD Penner Park grass.

Gavin Don, President of the club explains what he saw when he got to the canteen, “Whoever it was that had broken in there, it seems had tied a strap around the gate and then pulled it with an ATV, taking out a good portion of that side wall.”

Don continues, “When I looked inside the slush machine was missing and all the syrups for it and some of the canned drinks out of the fridge. We’re missing some other food items as well from the canteen.”

He says they are working with the city of Steinbach to get the canteen back up and running for their next home game on September 17. “Hopefully we can do that. Unfortunately, we’re going to be using the money we raised on the weekend at Raiders Day to pay for the items that were taken from the canteen, instead of using it to go towards replacing football equipment.”

When it comes to paying for the damage to the building and replacing what was taken, Gavin says the city is taking care of the building repairs for the team, “I guess the best way that you (the public) can help out here, is to come down and support the club at our next home game.”

Vice President of the Raiders, Oralee Froese notes that the Slushie Machine is valued at $3,000. She says thankfully they had a lower inventory in the canteen due to Raiders Day on Saturday and had not yet refilled all the shelves. Frustrated Froese says they won’t be able to serve Slushies this season. She says currently they don’t have a projected completion date on the repairs to the canteen as there is structural damage to the south wall of the building.

Froese says, “over the past few weeks we have been noticing our locks being tampered with and promptly fixed them in order to try and deter such break-ins and I guess the vandals had enough and took some chains and an ATV to our door. ” (Facebook)

If anyone has any information or any ideas who may have done this, please contact the Steinbach RCMP.

Damage inside the Canteen Damage to the Canteen door. (Photo credit: Oralee Froese)
Mess inside the Raiders Canteen Mess inside the Raiders Canteen (Photo credit: Oralee Froese)

RECAP OF RAIDER DAY, August 27, 2022

Despite the disappointment in the damage done to the canteen, Gavin Don, President says, “Raiders Day went very well. Our two Cruncher teams put on a good show. The Atom team missed out on a win. You know, that really went down to the wire. The Pee Wee’s put on a good show, but they didn’t get there.”

Don says in terms of crowd numbers, “That was fantastic. We had a lot of people there for the afternoon, for the Pee Wee game to the point where we were getting close to shutting down the canteen because we were selling out of stuff.”

He says they also had some Blue Bomber players turn up for the morning games. “I believe they were there because their sons were playing on one of the Fort Garry Lions teams, but they were kind enough to go around and meet our Cruncher team and pose for photographs and give high-fives and what have you. We also had Buzz & Boomer at the field. So, they were there handing out some medals to the Crunchers and being Buzz & Boomer. So, generally messing around with the crowd and just adding to the day.”

One of the more special moments was the coin toss before each game. “We had the Mayor Earl Funk come out and perform the coin toss. And for our second Cruncher game, we had the MMFA President, and we didn’t have anybody wind up for the Atom game but by sheer coincidence, one of our Past-President’s Sean Walsh turned up and he was happy enough to do the coin toss for that game.”

Don says registration for football, not only with the Eastman Raiders but throughout the Manitoba Minor Football League has really bounced back. “They’ve gone above pre-Covid levels which was our last full season in 2019. We’ve actually exceeded our registration levels from back then. So there is a definite interest in getting kids out, playing football and, you know, another great cup win by the Bombers wouldn’t hurt that either.”

Eastman Raiders players with members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Eastman Raiders players with members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Photo credit: Naomi Murray)